It’s taken a longer-than-expected session, but the Minnesota Vikings stadium bill on Monday will go under the most intense scrutiny that it has faced so far.
The Minnesota House will debate and is expected to vote on the bill Monday, though according to the Star Tribune, a vote could come after midnight depending on how long the debate lasts.
The House vote is just another part of the process, but this is definitely a big day for the stadium bill. Time is running out, and it can ill afford any sort of a hiccup at this point.
I’m starting to believe this thing will pass. Ever since NFL leaders paid a visit to the Capitol a couple weeks back, the tone has changed from many of the political leaders. And stories like this one that ran in Sunday’s Forum amp up the sense of urgency to do it now or risk losing the team.
In what was an interesting bit of timing for those of us living in Minnesota, CNBC aired a documentary last week titled “Sonicsgate,” which examined the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics and their relocation to Oklahoma City after more than four decades in the Pacific Northwest.
I don’t mean to say this to stir up any fear. But there are some similarities between the Sonics situation and the Vikings’ current one.
Both teams were/are in mid-major markets and both have seen other pro/college teams around them in their respective markets get stadiums built in recent years. They both were/have been a part of their markets for a long time.
But what really marked the end of the Sonics was when Seattle-based Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz sold the team to Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett in 2006. The writing was on the wall at that point, and Bennett moved the franchise to OKC in 2008.
That’s what Vikings fans need to be concerned about. The Wilf ownership group seems committed to keeping the team in Minnesota. But if they want out, the next owner might not feel the same way.