The Minnesota Vikings and their stadium situation to this point can only be described with the term "roller coaster." Not only have we seen optimism and pessimism, we've seen both of those things from the same people, sometimes on the same day. It's never been truly clear what the next step is, but things got jump-started when the House approved a $975 million stadium plan.
If that jump-started it, then the Senate just threw it in gear and put the pedal to the metal. The Associated Press is reporting that the Senate voted 36-30 on Thursday to approve the same stadium plan, and it will now go to Governor Mark Dayton for his signature, something that any sane person considers a certainty given just how hard he's been pushing in recent months for a deal to get done.
Sure, some of the earlier delays were solely on Dayton and nobody else - he played hardball with the Vikings on more than one occasion to enforce his preference of the city of Minneapolis - but after eliminating the Arden Hills site from consideration, he's been all for bending over backwards and doing whatever it takes to get the Vikings to remain in Minnesota.
The city of Minneapolis also has a month to consent to all of this, but that also is considered a certainty. The newest bill (the one that's actually passing) includes a $477 million contribution from the Vikings, solidifying the fact that the team wants to remain in Minnesota, given that the number is well above what they claimed they'd pay. The state would be paying $348 million and $150 million would come from Minneapolis.
It came down to the wire, but it looks like things are going to go through as they should at this point. At one point, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell got involved, illustrating to Governor Dayton that the Vikings would likely leave in a season or two if not for a stadium plan sooner rather than later. Who knows if that was what helped things along, but it definitely didn't hurt.