Though the Minnesota Vikings have been particularly adamant that their first choice for a new football stadium is at the Arden Hills site, where they estimate a new venue would cost $1.1 billion, the team is reportedly examining other options, as well. While the state has encouraged the team to explore potential other sites for their stadium (while also not eliminating at the possibility of a venue at Arden Hills), the team hadn't really made significant attempts to analyze the feasibility of said sites.
Now, the Vikings are conducting a traffic analysis of another site near the Basilica of St. Mary, at a piece of property known only as the Linden Avenue site in downtown Minneapolis. The Arden Hills site is in St. Paul, and though it is the team's number one option, they don't yet have a preferred site in Minneapolis. The Linden Avenue site's proposal would include a $1.03 billion stadium, and is among three sites discussed in Minneapolis. The others are the Farmers Market site, which the team believes is the most difficult to proceed with, and the current Metrodome site.
Another team in the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers, had a financing plan approved for their stadium in Santa Clara, and it brings up an interesting comparison. For the 49ers, the city of San Francisco didn't necessarily have any feasible options for the team, so they were forced to explore some options outside of the city. The unwillingness to work with the 49ers by the city's mayor didn't help things along either.
The point is that the 49ers suffered from a lack of sites while the Vikings, presumably, have at least four options available, with potentially more on the horizon. While this seems like it could be a good thing, it might actually be the reason for so many delays in getting something figured out (the lease on the Metrodome expires at the end of the year).
Governor Mark Dayton's chief stadium negotiator, Ted Mondale, said on Thursday that the team and state would be significantly far behind if they haven't nailed it down to one site by mid-January, something that is fast-approaching. Perhaps the Vikings examining this other site is a good sign, or maybe it's just a way to further muddle things, at this point.