The Vikings stadium proposal moved a step closer with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission selecting a design team, the first step to getting another proposal in front of politicians at the beginning of 2009.
The Vikings still have no guarantees that a new retractable roof stadium is going to get built in Minneapolis, but, as of Friday, the team has an architect on board to begin the process.
On Friday, Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis and HKS Architects of Dallas were selected to develop a design for the stadium, a construction schedule and a cost analysis for the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission. The Vikings will use these projections when they make the case to Minnesota Legislature next spring. The cost of the design phase will be approximately $2.5 million.
The selection of Mortenson Construction really didn't come as much of a surprise to those with knowledge of the Twin Cities construction market. The firm has been hired to build Target Center as well as the new TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota and Target Field, which will be the new home of the Minnesota Twins
HKS Architects recently completed Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis, which was recently toured by members of the MSFC, as well as the new stadium for the Dallas Cowboys
It is hoped the expertise and track record of these two companies will help bolster the Vikings' chances of convincing state lawmakers that they will have a facility that will become the pride of downtown Minneapolis, much in the same the X-cel Energy Center has energized the downtown area of St. Paul.
The Legislature will begin its 2009 session in January and it is expected that the stadium issue will be one of the first issues the House and Senate will discuss.
Former Viking Joey Browner is seeking to get his name on the ballot for the city council of Eagan, a Twin Cities suburb. He has an uphill battle ahead of him because his filing came past the deadline for getting his name on the November ballot, so he is going to run a write-in campaign if his appeal to be included doesn't work.
The Titans' final injury report includes QB Vince Young listed as out, and three others – CB Nick Harper (thigh), WR Justin McCareins (groin) and RB LenDale White (shoulder) – all listed as probable.
The final Vikings injury report listed safety Madieu Williams (neck) as out, five players – LB Vinny Ciurciu (knee), DE Ray Edwards (shoulder), RB Adrian Peterson (hamstring), WR Sidney Rice (knee) and RB Chester Taylor (foot) – listed as questionable and OT Artis Hicks (elbow) listed as probable. Of those players, only Williams and Ciurciu are viewed as players that likely won't suit up.
Former Vikings offensive coordinator Scott Linehan's days may well be winding down in St. Louis. On Friday, both Marc Bulger and Torry Holt were extremely critical of Linehan – Bulger saying he will not play for Linehan after being benched and Holt claiming offers to help out in ways to beat defensive backs from the Seattle Seahawks were rebuffed. According to Holt, when he approached Linehan with his ideas, he was told "you play, I'll coach."
There is talk that Titans starting MLB Ryan Fowler may be benched on a permanent basis with his starting job being given to second-year man Stephen Tulloch, who filled in for Fowler last year when he went down with a shoulder injury.