Today is the 15th of February, which is the last day that the Vikings could file an intent to relocate with the National Football League for the 2012 NFL season. Late on Tuesday, Minnesota Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley said that the team would not take that route.
Even if the team had filed that notice, the move would have been subject to a vote from the other 31 NFL owners, and that would have been followed by the selection of a new city and the collection of a franchise fee.
Bagley said that there was progress being made towards getting a stadium bill completed during this legislative session, which has about six more weeks left before the legislature closes up shop for 2012.
Then again, now that the last bit of real leverage the Vikings have on this matter is officially gone. . .an aspect of this whole thing that is entirely the fault of the team for not exercising it. . .the legislature will have the ability to do exactly the same thing on the matter of a Vikings' stadium that they've done every year for the last decade, that being kick the can down the road for another year.
Never mind the fact that doing so will add anywhere between $30 and $50 million to the cost of a new stadium, making it that much harder to push through next year. The important thing is that there's an election coming up, and nobody is going to be forced to make any really tough decisions before we reach that point.
I think it's time to start researching who has pro-stadium and anti-stadium leanings in the Minnesota legislature. The only way this is going to get done is if the deck is completely stacked in our favor, it appears.