As The Stadium Turns

Well, we couldn't go more than 48 hours without a stadium update story. At this point, it would seem almost un-American to do so. So as we sit today, the Vikings and Minneapolis are still focusing on the Metrodome site, but there are a couple of issues that need to be resolved.

If you want to build a stadium spend more than $10 million on a sports facility in Minneapolis, the city passed a law in 1997 that says it must be put before the voters in a referendum (just for a stadium...really? REALLY?!?!). Mayor R.T. Rybak wants to circumvent said voter referendum by having the city council agree to let the Legislature override that requirement in the stadium bill.

On Thursday night, the city council said 'no'. Now, by reading the story, I'm not sure if that was the only vote that will be taken, but Mayor Rybak seems to think he can sway a couple of city council members to vote his way, clearing the path for no referendum, so I think we'll be re-visiting this in the future.

The NFL apparently isn't too keen on the Vikings playing at TCF Bank Stadium for a few years, either. There's still 'a lot of wood to chop' before the NFL will be satisfied with how everything will work out. That said, the Vikings and the U of M have apparently come to an agreement about the Vikings selling beer at the Bank if they do play on campus.

Arden Hills and Ramsey County have to find another way to finance their portion of the stadium, as no tax increases will be approved by either the House or Senate. They are working on a new financial plan, but won't release details until this coming week. I'm glad Ramsey County isn't taking 'no' for an answer, and if they can come up with a good plan, they're not out of it, especially if the Minneapolis City Council holds firm on wanting a referendum.

And finally, we have...wait for it...a NEW location for the stadium in Minneapolis. This is approximately the 307th possible landing site for a new Vikes Stadium if you're keeping score. Apparently there's a site just southeast of the Dome, between 11th Ave South and I-35W. There are a couple of problems with that though, the main one being an Excel energy substation that sits there. Apparently, that can't be moved, so this idea seems dead in the water, but the Vikes and the city are still looking at it. If they can use that site, the Vikes could still play in the Metrodome and it would alleviate all the TCF Bank Stadium issues.

So there you have it. Minneapolis wants a voter referendum, which would more than likely fail, but the Mayor and City Council chairman think they can avoid one. Ramsey County is still in the game, although a longshot, and the Vikes and the city are looking at yet another possible location.

Just get something done. Please. Because I'm tired of writing about this as much as you folks are of reading about it.

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