New stadium for Vikings nearly a done deal

The Minnesota Vikings are now two small steps away from having a plan in place to finance a new stadium near the Metrodome.

The state Senate voted 36-30 today to approve a bill on the final day of the legistlative session. The $975 million stadium now needs to be given a final green light from Gov Mark Dayton, which is expected to be a formality. The Minneapolis city council then must approve the plan and that is also expected to go through.

The Vikings, late Wednesday, agreed to pay $50 million more for the construction of the stadium. In doing so, owner Zygi Wilf has ensured his franchise will remain in place. It has been a triumphant two weeks for the club after the measure appeared dead. But heavy-duty lobbying by the club and NFL officials, including a visit from commissioner Roger Goodell, got the politicians moving.

Now, the league will successfully see another city outfitted with a new stadium, proof that the leverage a vacant Los Angeles has provided the NFL has made the nation’s second-largest market much more valuable empty than with a team.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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