The effort to build a new stadium for the Vikings once again has encountered the biggest possible obstacle to its success.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the sense of urgency at the State Capitol has diminished. And it’s not surprising. As Vikings V.P. of stadium wrangling Lester Bagley told PFT Live earlier this year, the Vikings must tell the league by February 15 if they plan to relocate for the 2012 season.
If Wednesday comes and goes without the Vikings expressing an intent to move, the Vikings are stuck in Minnesota in 2012. So where would they play?
And that’s where this thing gets even weirder. The Vikings have no lease for 2012.
The power then would shift to the powers-that-be in Minnesota, who could insist on something more than a one-year Band-Aid lease. Then what would the Vikings do? (That said, the state still contends that snow damage in 2010 extended the lease by one year; the Vikings could save face by agreeing to that position and treating 2012 as their lame-duck year.)
Either way, the Vikings need to do something other than hope that the situation will get resolved. They seem to have no desire to move, and they have done nothing to create the impression that they will.
Maybe the Vikings fear that taking a hard line will backfire. Maybe the Vikings believe that, if they pretend they want to go, folks in Minnesota will shrug and say, “Fine. Go.”
Regardless, the situation is no closer to being resolved. The only viable plan remains the construction of a new building adjacent to the Metrodome. Contrary to a recent item from Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune that the Vikings would have to spend an entire season playing at the University of Minnesota’s open-air, undersized venue, the Star Tribune now says that the Vikings would be able to stay at the Metrodome for “all but a few games” in 2016, the year the facility would open.
If they don’t get this thing figured out, at some point the Vikings will have to entertain the thought of playing more than a few games in another part of the country.