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Vikings May Be Forced To Play Another Season In The Metrodome

If this entire stadium mess starts making any less sense, we're all going to be looking for Laura Palmer's body by Thanksgiving.

(Twin Peaks? Twin Peaks, anyone? Nobody? Fine, all you damn kids get off my lawn.)

So, it turns out that the Minnesota Vikings' landlords at the Metrodome are of the mindset that they can enforce a little-known clause in the Metrodome's lease that would force the Vikings to play in the Dome for another season. This comes from an article from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (that I first saw on Kevin Seifert's NFC North blog at the four-letter, but I see that a couple of folks have pointed it out in the FanPosts and FanShots).

This technicality is known as the "force majeure" clause, and it's a clause in a contract that frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of both parties prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. According to the Star-Tribune article, the clause in this particular contract says:

"For each football season, or part of football season, while this Agreement is suspended, the term of this Agreement ... shall be extended by one football season."

The Minneapolis Sports Facilities Commission is apparently under the impression that last season's blizzard, which caused the Metrodome roof to collapse and caused the movement of two home games (one to Ford Field in Detroit, and one to TCF Bank Stadium) is sufficient enough grounds to trigger the clause and make the Vikings play at the Metrodome in 2012.

Because, you know, the sure-fire answer to a team missing part of a season at their home stadium because it was declared an unsafe place to play is to make them play at the unsafe facility for another season.

And hey, if you think this stadium bill is popular with everybody now, wait until they try to get this charlie foxtrot passed during a real election year.

Now, I don't know if the MSFC has sufficient grounds to trigger this Force Majeure thing or not. I'm guessing that we'll find out through the legal system, if nothing else. Of course, if we get a damn stadium bill passed around here we won't have to worry either way, as the team has said that playing in the Dome would be acceptable as long as it was simply a bridge to a new facility.

Just another turn in the whole stadium saga. And to think we went almost a full 24 hours without any new drama being thrown on to the pile.