Editorial: Viking stadium is unlikely in 2010
The clock is ticking down for the Minnesota Vikings in 2010 and it may be time for a two-minute drill.
Most of Friday focused on the Vikings' quarterback Brett Favre and the possibility of needed ankle surgery. Do not worry; the continuing ankle injury just gives Favre a reason to miss training camp. He likely will arrive in Minnesota in time for the regular season.
However, Favre is not on the clock -- at least not yet.
The clock is running down now on any Vikings' stadium chances for 2010.
The Vikings' stadium desire faces a dwindling possibility for numerous reasons.
- State leadership is fractured with a Democratic-led Legislature and a lame-duck Republican governor, making any agreement difficult, if not impossible.
- The Democratic legislative leaders remain lukewarm to the idea, believing that waiting until 2011 is a better option due to the possibility of a Democrat as governor.
- Gov. Tim Pawlenty has no incentive to back any stadium financing for a professional sports team, which could harm his Republican presidential endorsement hopes.
- Minneapolis officials have rejected the concept of extending a city sales tax, which currently funds the city's convention center.
- Most members of the Legislature are seeking re-election in November and public stadium funding is not much of a vote getter in election years.
- The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce this week announced opposition to a metro-wide 2.5 percent hotel and lodging tax to fund a stadium.
- Most importantly, the legislative calendar is now a tight rope with the Legislature's adjournment just weeks away. If a stadium bill is not introduced early next week, the issue is likely dead for 2010.
While we would like to see some type of creative deal developed to fund a new Vikings stadium, the stars do not appear to be aligning properly this spring.
Viking stadium hopes may have to "wait until next year."
That phrase certainly sounds like a familiar Viking fan mantra that has followed every playoff loss, including four Superbowl losses, over the past five decades.