Just a day after finding out that Dayton and company have "vowed" to complete the stadium project, an entirely different story just came out stating that the Vikings stadium lease will probably not be expiring after the 2011 season.
According to the terms of the Metrodome lease, a clause exists that makes it so that the Vikings get an additional year added on to the lease...
"for every year in which the Metrodome is damaged and the team is forced to play elsewhere for all or part of a season."
Yes, you read that correctly. For those of you who recall, the Vikings were forced to play their final two home games in separate venues OTHER than the Metrodome last season (playing one game at Ford Field on a Tuesday, and the other at TCF Bank Stadium) because of a heavy snow that ended up breaking through the roof of the Metrodome. Now, the clause does NOT state that it has to be the entirety of a season for it to qualify as an extension of the clause. This was certainly not the case in 2010, but there was still time missed, qualifying the Vikings for an extension of the Metrodome lease.
In all likelihood, this either gives the Vikings politicians and the state legislators more breathing room, or gives them more time to procrastinate on handling the matter. Personally, I think that the deal will be and SHOULD be dealt with following the Thanksgiving break, as that sounded like the appropriate time. However, given Zellers' ineptitude (you know who I won't be voting for), he could well be out of office by the time that they actually have to figure out what to do with the Metrodome.
Lester Bagley, commenting on the situation, said that he didn't want this to be an excuse for the stadium issue to NOT be dealt with immediately and swiftly, and I completely agree with him. Even if the team doesn't leave after this season, the time to deal with the issue is now.
All in all, I'm cautiously optimistic about this news in terms of the Vikings getting a new stadium. If they do get another year in the home stadium, they will have certainly dodged a bullet due to a collapsed time frame that may have almost forced the Vikings into moving to another location.
At the very least, it's looking like we'll get one more guaranteed season after this one of our beloved Purple, folks.
What do you all think?