Blog Entry

Vikings: No stadium 'agreement imminent'

Posted on: December 26, 2011 1:30 pm
The optimism for a new stadium in Minnesota might be premature. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Sunday night, a report emerged that the Vikings were close to a new stadium deal in Minnesota.  The celebration of that Christmas miracle appears to have been premature.

That's because on Monday, the Vikings specifically denied the report from Sports Illustrated's Peter King about a potential new deal.

The Vikings and L.A.

"The Vikings took note of Peter King's optimism last night and today about the prospects for a new stadium," Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson tweeted on Monday afternoon. "While we continue to work hard on a stadium solution in Minnesota, there is no agreement imminent. The lease expires after the season, we are encouraged by positive discussions and we remain hopeful a resolution will be reached in Minnesota."

It's a bit surprising to see the Vikings go straight at King's report, but it's certainly not surprising to see plenty of public leverage being thrown around by the sides on this stadium issue.

We saw this recently when the Vikings told Congress that two "mystery cities" emerged as possible destinations for the team and we're probably seeing it now, as optimism about a stadium deal getting done could put a damper on any leverage that the team has in negotiating a new deal.

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Since: Dec 27, 2011
Posted on: December 27, 2011 9:47 am
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Buffalo Bob
Since: Dec 11, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 7:50 pm
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Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: December 26, 2011 6:36 pm

Vikings: No stadium 'agreement imminent'

fix the roof and spend the money on something usefull , like food at the local food bank footballs great but theres alot more issues facing a state thats been hit hard by the economy, just like the rest of the country. help the less fortunate for gods sake with all that money

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: December 26, 2011 5:07 pm

Vikings: No stadium 'agreement imminent'

This is trash that a person that thinks people are cold has a computer to say the Vikings should not have an new stadium. If the state of Minnesota provided a free room and board to every person in Minnesota than could the state build a new stadium? People like you do not know anything about the problem. Don’t tell me you drive around and see what is going on. Get out of your car and help the people. Feed them and give them a place to sleep. You will find new people every day at the same spot. It is not a problem that can be fixed. Lots of people have tried over the ages…

Since: Mar 19, 2010
Posted on: December 26, 2011 3:44 pm

Vikings: No stadium 'agreement imminent'

They will, but it will come down to the last second, Get the deal done, Vikes make MN a lot of Money and it would be a shame to see if go. 

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: December 26, 2011 3:34 pm

Vikings: No stadium 'agreement imminent'

I knew yesterday that Peter King had jumped the shark by saying a deal was near.  Anyone who follows this situation closely knows that is not the case.

Here are the facts:  The public portion of the proposed stadium deal is approximately $300 million.  Not only is the Minnesota legislature currently out of session, but there isn't even a specific funding mechanism on the table right now.  About a month ago when the legislature was finishing its 2010 session, the funding proposal for the Arden Hills sight fell through.  Ramsey County had proposed a sales tax increase to pay the public share.  Strong opposition to this tax hike killed the idea and Governor Mark Dayton then had no reason to call a special session of the legislature.  As the lawmakers went home for the holidays, the entire stadium proposal was left in limbo.  What's more, even if the sales tax increase had been formally voted on, there's no guarantee there would have been sufficient votes to pass it anyway.

This uncertainty is why Peter King's story yesterday came as a shock.  If the Vikings were near a "deal" to stay in Minnesota, what could that possibly entail?

One thing it could NOT entail is a deal between the Vikings and the legislature.  As I outlined above, the legislature is out of session and there is no formal proposal on the table right now as to how the state would fund its $300 million portion of the plan.  Those debates cannot begin again in earnest until January when the legislature re-convenes.  

So if there was a "deal" as Peter King said there was, it must be coming from the Vikings.  The only thing I could think of is that Zygi Wilf decided to sign a new lease agreement at the Metrodome.  But why would he do that?  All of his leverage in this debate resides in his ability to sell the team and have it moved to Los Angeles.  If he were to sign a new lease agreement at the Metrodome right now, he'd basically be throwing all of his leverage right out the window.

From my perspective, King's story just isn't believable.  

There's simply no way that a smart and savvy businessman like Zygi Wilf would opt to disregard his leverage by signing a lease extension at the Metrodome.  I could see him doing that IF it were more obvious that a stadium bill would be approved by the legislature when they re-convene in January.  But the truth of the matter is, the stadium proposal is very much up in the air.  Not only do we not know how it will be funded, but we don't even know if enough votes will be there when those specific proposals are brought forth for debate.

In other words, it's about a 50/50 proposition (at best) that the Minnesota government will approve a Vikings stadium deal.  There's just no way Zygi would willingly sign a lease agreement with that sort of uncertainty facing him in the eye. 

Buffalo Bob
Since: Dec 11, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 3:17 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Feb 14, 2008
Posted on: December 26, 2011 2:36 pm

Vikings: No stadium 'agreement imminent'

With all the problems that the State of Minnesota face, buying a new stadium for a NFL team should be pretty low on the list of priorities.
People are freezing this winter and the streets are filled with homless families are trying to find a warm cardboard box to spend the night in. No money to help people in need but there are always milliions and millions of dollars available to give to billionaire owners.

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 2:19 pm

Vikings: No stadium 'agreement imminent'

taxpayers need to say no to the billionaire that wants them to improve his stadium.

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