Vikings becoming optimistic on stadium deal

What could possibly trump Brett Favre when it comes to news and the Minnesota Vikings?

Well, how about the possibility of a new stadium plan getting passed? Yes, that would do it. The Vikings have been wrangling for years to find a way to get some new digs and bolt the Metrodome. The Minnesota Twins will play in their new stadium for the first time in the regular season next week. The Minnesota Golden Gophers previously vacated the Metrodome. Yes, the Vikings are the only ones remaining. Last one there gets to turn the lights out.

But the Vikings will not get to turn the lights out until they have a new home, and finding public support in the way of, you know, public tax dollars has been a real obstacle for the franchise. The latest report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune indicates there could be some momentum in the State Capitol with six weeks remaining in the legislative session. Right now there is considerable backroom dealing to pull off an $870 million stadium proposal to replace a stadium that, if you’ve been there in the last decade, you know needs to be replaced. There is some urgency to carve out a deal. The Vikings’ lease at the Metrodome expires after the 2011 season and the team has said it will not consider an extension without a new stadium deal signed, sealed and delivered. Otherwise, the Vikings could go the way of the Lakers and hot foot it to Southern California, right?

According to the report, the Vikings are looking for a “metro-wide hospitality tax,” to divert sales tax already created by the team and add potential federal stimulus money to help make the stadium dream become a reality.

Ownership remains confident too.

“There's five weeks to go in our legislative session here, and we're confident that we can still reach a resolution to get a stadium solution," said Mark Wilf, brother of owner Zygi Wilf. "We feel something will get done this session."

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