Stadium: Mission (Almost) Accomplished

All Vikings stadium supporters seem confident in the state of the bill, but the Minneapolis City Council still has to give its stamp of approval.

With the "Mission Accomplished" banner firmly in place and plans being mulled as to whether or not to put a retractable roof on the new Vikings stadium, much like other occasions in which the "Mission Accomplished" banner has been hoisted a tad prematurely, the Vikings stadium deal isn't done just yet.

There's one last stadium hurdle – passing the Minneapolis City Council. While fully expected, the opera isn't over until the fat councilman sings.
A week from today (May 24), the city council's Intergovernmental Relations Committee will review the final legislative stadium bill and make its endorsement vote and the city council will accept (or reject) the proposal May 25. The committee is comprised of all 13 board members, whose votes will undoubtedly transfer from Thursday's vote to the "official" city council vote the next day.

With the final vote still pending, one can only wonder if any of the council members would even consider changing their vote. When the city council, at the request of Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, took a vote prior to the Minnesota Legislature passing the stadium bill, the council vote passed by the narrowest of margins – being approved 7-6.

If one of the "yes" votes would have a change of heart and all other stayed the same, the ramifications would be enormous. The stadium deal would come to a halt. A couple of city council stadium opponents have expressed concerns that more than 50 amendments to the bill it approved were made, but, at first glance, it doesn't appear as though any of them significantly changed the city's contribution to the stadium.

To the contrary, Rybak continues to say that he has the votes to get the bill approved by the city council and others on the council have said the bill includes all the prerequisites required by the council, calling it a good deal for Minneapolis.

It would seem like a forgone conclusion that the city council will vote to approve the bill and officially get the ball rolling for letting out bid packages and starting the process of constructing a new stadium. Rybak was front and center in lock step with Gov. Mark Dayton at the numerous rallies that were held prior to the state approval of the funding package. But until the vote is made by the city council and approval is finalized, the stadium deal is still somewhat in limbo.

There is very little chance that any of the council members that voted in favor of the city's contribution to the plan will change his or her vote. There would be a fan mutiny (face-painted Occupy City Hall protesters?). But, until next week, the banner should read "Mission (Almost) Accomplished."


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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