Governor Mark Dayton delivered his annual state of the state address on Wednesday night. And one of the obvious topics was the state of a stadium for the NFL team that eventually could head to another state.
According to the Associated Press, Dayton said that the politicians “may be getting close to a site, a deal and a bill.”
Each of those three prongs is critical to building a new stadium. The site has shifted over time and currently seems to be a location near the Metrodome, which would involve minimal movement of games to TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota while the new venue is constructed.
The deal entails a combination of money from the Vikings and the league, along with public contributions divided between the state and the city/county hosting the stadium. The source of the public money remains a point of contention and debate.
Ultimately, the deal needs to be reduced to a bill that would be passed by an election-year legislature that represents a populace that has been cool, at best, to the idea of using any public funds to build a new football stadium.
Because the Vikings are now essentially stuck in Minnesota for 2012, given that the team didn’t file paperwork with the league office indicating an intent to relocate before the February 15 deadline, the challenge ultimately will be to persuade lawmakers to support a measure that would allow their opponents to use the ballot box in November as an after-the-fact stadium referendum.
That fact alone makes it more likely that this project won’t be finalized until next year, at the earliest.