It’s Christmas, and it looks like Vikings fans are about to get a pretty big gift.
Peter King of Football Night In America reported earlier in the hour (I know this because I was standing right next to him) that the Vikings and Minnesota officials are close to a deal that would keep the team in the state it has called home since entering the league in 1961.
According to King, it’s no longer a question of “if” but “when.”
Time became a major factor in recent weeks, because the Vikings are poised to become free agents as of next Sunday, when the Metrodome lease expires following the final regular-season game of the 2011 season. One or both groups hoping to build a new NFL stadium in Los Angeles were expected to make an aggressive push for the Vikings once the lease expired. The team has indicated that another city was expected to make a push for the team, too.
It’s unknown whether the stadium will be built in the team’s preferred location of Arden Hills in Ramsey County, or whether the stadium will be constructed in Minneapolis.