Task Force Stadium Vote Today

Today may turn out to be one of the most important days in the history of the Minnesota Vikings -- without a player or coach being involved.

Jan. 28 isn't a big day for any NFL teams aside from New England and St. Louis, but, for the future of the Minnesota Vikings, today may be one of the biggest days in franchise history.

Today the 18-member panel of the state's stadium task force will vote on a proposal to build two stadiums -- one for the Minnesota Twins and a shared facility for the Vikings and University of Minnesota -- which could hold the key to the future of the Vikings in Minnesota.

Red McCombs has said that, barring a new stadium, the Vikings can't compete in the NFL with the limited revenue generated from the Metrodome. If he can't get a stadium, he has said relocation is a serious option.

The task force recommendation will carry a lot of weight with the State Legislature, which is meeting in an abbreviated session this year. While Minnesota is projecting a huge budget deficit this year, task force members believe the stadiums can pay for themselves through special fees associated with the stadium, a potential casino being constructed to create revenue to pay off the stadiums and the impact of losing the Twins and/or the Vikings.

While the Twins stadium is still in limbo with Major League Baseball still threatening contraction, the Vikings and University of Minnesota remain a viable option and one that must be put on the front burner.

While most of us at VU still have a hard time believing a state of the art retractable roof stadium can't be built using the pooled resources of the Twins, Vikings and University of Minnesota, the feeling is that two separate stadiums will be needed. Whether that is the final decision or not, today could be one of the biggest days in team history.

* A VU Steelers source sent us this bit -- since 1969, the Steelers have had just two coaches, but three stadiums.
* VU continues to hear that Louisville offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is the big-time front runner for the vacant O.C. position with the Vikings.
* One offensive coordinator candidate off the list is Cleveland wide receivers coach Terry Robiske. The Browns denied the Vikings permission to interview him for the position.
* From the "Only In the NFL" department comes this: Cris Carter has never been able to wear a Super Bowl ring -- as an NFL champion or conference champ. Former Viking Yo Murphy will have a ring after being picked up by the Rams.

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