The Minnesota state shutdown officially ended Wednesday, as Gov. Mark Dayton signed off on 12 budget bills that will end the three-week lockout, but the Vikings stadium bill was never brought up and, with the shutdown ended, the special session ended as well.
The options now are down to two, and both involve the Vikings waiting. The first would be a second special session, most likely called in the fall. The second is to wait until the 2012 legislative session to have a full debate in committee and both houses of the Minnesota Legislature.
Dayton had said earlier that he wouldn't approve a stadium bill that didn't cap the state's contribution at $300 and didn't have the contingencies taken care of. For the last couple of months, the sides have debated how the road improvement costs around the Arden Hills site would be paid for.
While the proposed future Vikings stadium didn't get funding approval, the news at their current home wasn't good either.
The Vikings have a new roof on their Metrodome home, but now they need a new floor. The damage caused by the Metrodome roof collapse last December and the exposure of Mall of America Field to the elements deteriorated the turf to the point that it will have to be replaced – at a cost of a little less than half a million dollars.
Whether the Vikings get a special session or not, the Metrodome will be their home for the next year or two at a minimum (if the stadium is approved, it would probably remain their home for four more years). With the roof fixed and the turf being replaced, it will be an NFL site, but clearly not what the Vikings want. However, unless there is a change of heart by the governor and the legislative leadership, a new home for the team may have to wait until 2012.
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.