While there's nothing that is totally official about the new plan widely reported for a Minnesota Vikings stadium, there's enough substance to feel that something is getting done. There's a preliminary deal in place that picks the site (at or near the Metrodome) and divides the cost (estimated at $975 million), so Vikings fans can heave a collective sigh of relief. There's not likely any danger of the team relocating, to Los Angeles or anywhere else.
But how close were the Vikings to relocating or having to wait another year?
The entire stadium saga was defined by missed deadlines. First, Ted Mondale said that all parties would be significantly behind if they didn't pick a site to build by mid-January. Actually, first was nine years ago when the Vikings started campaigning for a new venue, but we'll just focus on this latest saga. Anyway, mid-January passed without a solid stadium site picked out.
More than that, several new proposals were introduced, including multiple superfluous proposals that only served to take up everybody's time. The Governor began playing hard ball with the team while viable options were set aside for cheaper alternatives, and then set a hard deadline for proposals. That deadline passed, and then his favored sites continued submitting past it.
Naturally, everyone else followed and deadlines quickly became superfluous, as well. The only consensus came about a week prior to this new preliminary deal, when multiple people following the situation said that something needed to be done very soon - within the next "couple weeks," otherwise it would be likely things would be delayed another year.
Who knows what another year would have meant to the Vikings and how they feel about the whole situation. Maybe another year is time for the Vikings to consider relocation and a city/state that is more open to their needs. A year is plenty of time for something like that. It's important that this was agreed on now, even if it's not perfect for all parties, so it has a chance at to pass the Legislature sooner rather than later.
Nothing is assured and a lot still needs to get done, but progress is progress. Any extra time likely would have put it out of the Legislature's hands until next year. Who knows what another year would have meant?