The Minnesota Vikings’ quest for a new stadium isn’t likely to be addressed any further until next year.
The Minnesota state legislature adjourned on Monday after a marathon budget session without acting on the Vikings’ stadium bill, which was first introduced on May 3. As we predicted then, the bill, which had two options for public funding of a new stadium, took a back seat for legislators looking to balance the state budget and find funding for education in the final two weeks of the legislative session.
Amazing that the Vikings weren’t a priority.
The only way anything will happen with the bill before 2011 is in the unlikely event Gov. Tim Pawlenty calls a special legislative session for the specific purpose of voting on the stadium bill, this summer.
The Vikings’ lease at the Metrodome expires in February 2012 and it looks like the team will continue to be second-class citizens in the stadium game until at least that point.
While the team at least got a bill in front of legislators, nothing legitimate happened with it, so it could be viewed as nothing more than a symbolic gesture.
Kevin Seifert suggests lawmakers are content to let the Vikings play out their lease in the Metrodome because the team really has no other viable option but to play there after the lease expires.
Only a small group of state leaders considered this so much as a mildly urgent issue. For now, the rest of them — including Pawlenty — seem convinced the Vikings have no other options but to continue playing in the Metrodome beyond the expiration of their lease. As of today, that’s probably a safe bet. Los Angeles is nowhere close to luring a team, and the NFL’s primary focus is on solving its labor dispute. Los Angeles might enter the picture some day, but to this point it has not.
So there you go, Minnesota.