There is a lot of work being done behind the scenes by the Vikings, the city of Minneapolis and the Legislature to prepare for the possibility of a stadium vote in the next two weeks.
The chance of this happening will be contingent on favorable action being taken by the Minneapolis City Council and the Legislature.
The only site on the table now is the one adjacent to the Metrodome. The plan is similar to what was done in St. Louis, when the latest Busch Stadium was built for the Cardinals. The Vikings would continue to play in the Metrodome while about 75 percent of the stadium would be built on the current Metrodome parking lot and land east of 11th Avenue South. The stadium could be built over the Elliot Park Substation owned by Xcel Energy.
Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley
has been meeting with University of Minnesota authorities on a regular basis to work out a plan for the Vikings to play at TCF Bank Stadium for one season while the final 25 percent of the stadium is built. This could happen if the stadium site is moved just east of the Metrodome.
The stadium would be modeled after Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, which just hosted the Super Bowl.
Mayor R.T. Rybak
has made a great proposal for the city of Minneapolis, but if the city council won't cooperate, we will probably see the Vikings move like the Lakers and North Stars did when decent facilities weren't available.
This is an opportunity for some 7,500 local jobs but knowing the personality of this city council, which rarely does anything constructive when it comes to sports, I look for them to be blamed two or three years down the line for the loss of the Vikings. Then they will build a stadium that will cost four or five times more to get an expansion team.