Stadium winds have shifted in recent weeks

Mark Dayton (Saul Loeb/Getty)

The confident tone of the governor and others less than two months ago has turned into tepid talk when it comes to the possibilities of getting a stadium plan passed in 2012.

Despite numerous reports that considerable progress has been made to get a stadium bill done, as the start of the 2012 legislative session nears, both the governor and his top stadium negotiator are starting to sound less than confident.

While stadium negotiator Ted Mondale said things could change quickly, he didn't sound confident Friday. Mondale said that time isn't on the Vikings' side right now.

Gov. Mark Dayton continued his public waffling on the stadium subject. Just a few months ago, Dayton sounded supremely confident that a stadium deal would get done. Friday he claimed that a stadium deal may not be able to get done in the 2012 session.

Last week, Dayton set a deadline for stadium proposals to be submitted, requiring just one proposal from the City of Minneapolis. That proposal was a demolition of the Metrodome and a new stadium to be built in the existing Metrodome footprint. A week later, Dayton continued his promotion of the site near the Basilica of St. Mary in downtown Minneapolis.

Dayton met Friday with Rev. John Bauer, the rector of the basilica, who stated his concerns over the site, which would result in considerably more traffic in the area, as well as expressing concerns that stadium construction could potentially compromise the integrity of the basilica structure.

While plenty of activity is going on behind the scenes, it would appear that more hurdles are being thrown in front of a new stadium bill being passed rather than barriers being broken down over time. The confidence that was brimming just a couple of months ago once again appears to be in jeopardy of collapsing like the Metrodome roof.

SATURDAY NOTES

  • While being left for dead by most political pundits, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners maintained Friday that it is still a willing stadium partner and, if the current groundswell of support for a Minneapolis stadium falls apart, the Arden Hills site remains in play and ready to move forward.

  • The Miami Dolphins signed Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as their new head coach, prompting considerable speculation that Miami may be taking itself out of the Robert Griffin III competition on draft weekend. It is widely believed that the hiring of Philbin is the first step in the revamping of the Dolphins offense. Step two is expected to be the signing of Matt Flynn, an unrestricted free agent well versed in the Packers' West Coast Offense that will be installed in Miami.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


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