A stadium plan for the Minnesota Vikings could be headed to the back burner for state legislators with more pressing business to attend to, including elections in new districts this coming fall.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the push for a new stadium at the state capitol has waned and now there is doubt it will come up any time soon without a site or financing plan nailed down. The Vikings have until Wednesday to inform NFL commissioner Roger Goodell if they plan to move for the 2012 season. That certainly isn’t expected, but the Vikings are a team without a lease right now.
“We'll see what happens,” Vikings vice president Lester Bagley, the club’s point man for a new stadium, told the Star Tribune.
Some legislators have seemingly grown weary from the issue.
“The Vikings have tried to create the impression, through somewhat subtle threats, that they could move,” Rep. Ryan Winkler, a democrat from Golden Valley, said. “I think there's a growing realization that the Vikings have nowhere to go.”
It is expected that the next plan to come forward will be one to build a new stadium adjacent to the Metrodome. That would ultimately allow the Metrodome site to be turned into an outdoor plaza that could hold concerts, shops, a parking garage and more.
The plan would be to have the stadium ready before the end of the 2016 season and would force the Vikings to go away for only a handful of games during the construction process, well short of a full season on the road at a place like TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
But right now it’s just a plan. There are no numbers. No financing and no legislators banging the drum to get it done.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune