There were a couple of interesting developments in the drive for a new Minnesota Vikings' stadium on Thursday. I put them up over at SB Nation Minnesota, but they need to go over here as well.
The first thing that happened is Mike Opat, the Hennepin County board commissioner that had been championing the Farmer's Market location near Target Field, said that Hennepin County would not be the local partner in any stadium deal that goes through this season. That means that the site for a Vikings' stadium has, essentially, been narrowed down to two locations. . .either the site that the Metrodome currently sits on, or the site of the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant in Arden Hills.
Oh, that other development? Only one of those two sites appears to have things in order to make things happen right now, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
"We are very, very close to coming to a full proposal with the Vikings," said Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega, one of two commissioners who have been in talks with the team for months. "We have a few i's to dot and t's to cross. The big nut to crack, so to speak, is the transportation issue."
On Thursday, key players huddled around maps and other highway documents in the state Transportation Building. Among them: Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, House Transportation Chairman Michael Beard, Senate Transportation Chairman Joe Gimse and Ramsey County commissioners Tony Bennett and Ortega.
On the other side of the coin, the group championing the current Metrodome site has no proposal for funding, and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has stated that the city can not financially support construction at the Metrodome site. (So, they would love to have all the benefits of the stadium, but not have to pay anything for it? Nice.)
We said here the other day that it was time for the Vikings to stop screwing around and get serious with the folks from Ramsey County, and all indications are that they're doing just that. Hopefully things can get pushed through ASAP (the legislative session ends on the 23rd) and get things taken care of. . .you know, if for no other reason than to silence the various forms of sub-human life that would actively hope and cheer for the relocation of the Minnesota Vikings.