The Vikings won't be in a new stadium for years, but they will be in a new-look Metrodome – at least to the extent that new turf and some new offices is a "new look."
The Vikings may not be in line to get a new stadium approved during this session of the Minnesota Legislature, but they are going to have some improvements in 2010 to Mall of America Field.
On Thursday, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which operates the Metrodome, approved a $1.3 million project that would replace the Metrodome turf and a remodel the former Twins ticket office.
The Vikings had asked the MSFC to replace the six-year-old turf because it has been deemed unsafe by the Vikings. Especially concerning was the area around the bases for baseball that were cut out for dirt in the sliding areas and resurfaced over the dirt for football games.
The Vikings also got approval from the MSFC to remodel the old Twins offices, which has an estimated price tag of $700,000.
Both projects are set to get underway later this spring – the Metrodome field is still being used extensively by college and high school baseball teams – and both projects are slated to be completed by the time the Vikings begin their 2010 preseason schedule in August.
The Vikings have a lease at the Metrodome that expires in 2011, but, even if a stadium plan was approved during the current Legislative session, the Vikings would likely be stuck in the Metrodome for at least the next three seasons, which would push an opening date for a new stadium most likely during the 2013 season.
In an interview with WNSR Radio in Nashville Thursday, former Falcons coach Jerry Glanville said the reason he traded Brett Favre after one season was Favre's penchant for drinking. "I had to get him out of Atlanta," Glanville said. "I could not sober him up. I sent him to a city where at 9 o'clock at night, the only thing that's open is Chili Joe's."
"That's what made Brett Favre make a comeback was going to a town that closed down," Glanville added. "If I would have traded him to New York, nobody to this day would have known who Brett Favre ever was."
Favre has admitted to his partying ways early in his career and obviously turned things around after those struggles from his younger years.
Steelers President Art Rooney said Thursday that, while the 2010 schedule has not yet been released, the Steelers have been told they will open their 2010 season at home. Why is that significant? Because the Steelers were about the only other team on the schedule of the New Orleans Saints other than the Vikings that seemed like logical contenders to play in the Thursday night season opener in prime time at New Orleans. If Rooney is correct – he's connected enough that he should be – it makes the Vikings almost the only choice for the Kickoff Weekend Thursday night game.
The Seahawks and new coach Pete Carroll made some waves with the trade with San Diego for QB Charlie Whitehurst. A relative unknown to casual fans, Whitehurst has never thrown an NFL pass, but his trade from San Diego to Seattle could have a lot of ramifications. In the trade, Seattle and the Chargers flopped second-round draft picks this year and Seattle will give up a third-round pick in 2011's draft. As a result of the deal, the Seahawks won't be using their first-round pick on a quarterback – many had tied them into a potential Jimmy Clausen drafting – and, because they dropped 20 spots in the second round, the odds of Denver agreeing to trade Brandon Marshall for the 60th overall pick doesn't seem very likely. Whitehurst is expected to challenge Matt Hasselbeck for the starting job in Seattle.
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.