Esme’s Blog: The Little Clause In The Dome Lease

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s the little clause that could keep the Vikings in the Dome for another year.

It’s the little clause that could put off the painstaking debate on the Vikings stadium for another year. It’s the little clause that no doubt has infuriated Vikings management to the point they have not yet responded to a letter from the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission pointing out the provision.

It’s the clause in the Vikings lease that apparently says if the Vikings are forced to play elsewhere for even part of a season, the lease is extended for a year.

Minneapolis Council President Barb Johnson said the clause means there is no urgency to the push for a stadium. Really? The prospect of having this drag out another year doesn’t seem like it would benefit anyone.

The wrenching debate over how to pay for the stadium in the midst of a recession needs to happen sooner rather than later. The lease extension clause is yet another twist in a rocky week that saw a sales tax ruled out, the Speaker of the House say he is against a special session and the near collapse of talks.

Perhaps a deal can’t be reached. Lawmakers and the public need to ask themselves if that is something they can live with. The result would almost certainly be the loss of the team. That may well be the consequence of the tangle of desperate economic times, paralysis among state leaders and a December blizzard that may have triggered an obscure little clause in the Vikings’ lease.

More from Esme Murphy
  • NotOnePenny

    The sales tax has not been “ruled out!” Having the legislature allow a by-pass to the law that requires a referendum by the tax payers, has been ruled out. Why does the media insist on dumbing thing down? Ramsey county can put a referendum on the ballot…but it will loose by a land slide. Nobody wants to pay for a stadium, let the owners and NFL pay for it or let them move.

  • gtV

    Enough is enough! I suggest regardless of all the political, economic, and nuisance rhetoric and rigmarole it’s time to step up build the new Vikings venue; owned by the people and managed by a revamped business like Met Council Sports Facility Commission; or let the Vikings leave town for better areas of opportunity. In other words, if you want the Vikes speak now or forever hold your peace with the consequences and/or fall-out.

    It’s crunch time. Put-up or shut-off!

    To the MN GOP in the MN legislature–Do your jobs and save this state from the economic recessive precipice that you and your predecessors have brought us to. Save the Vikings[plain & simple] and the state of Minnesota’s economy. Help the Governor, regardless of political diatribes, to make this state recover. Lead. Follow. Or, get the H–l out of the way. There is a train of change coming-good or bad-coming and you are in the way. All the ersatz MN GOP legislative leadership has done so far is shovel the nonsensical political manure. The Vikings stadium issue is a prime example of such shenanigans.

    Esme, get these people on the record–“yea or nay”– for the Vikings and Arden Hills. The Wilfs see economic bounty in development of the Arden Hills site why can’t MN reap some of that bounty also!!! What happened to American and MN foresight? Enough said.

    • me

      OK – NAY! …how many times do you need to hear it?

      • Swamp Fox

        “NAY’ to the Vikings with their leaving town and the state. Is that what you nayed about???

        Then say so, directly!

  • Zing

    LOL! Ziggy, take your spoiled brats to another state and let that community worry about arresting them. People in Minnesota know what’s important and it’s not a billion dollars for a football stadium that will be used 8 times a year and surrounded by parking lots in a suburb.

  • Russ


    We are not in a recession. The economy is growing ableit slowly. Tough economic times maybe, but no recession. Perception is 90% of reality, so quit saying that we’re in a recession.

    Regardless, I believe that if the government is going to help fund the VIkings, they should make the offer to all Minnesota businsses. It’s quite a scam that professional sports has going. It’s too bad that there is more public discussion about new sports stadiums (Twins, Gophers, Vikings) than there is about the greater good. We “shut down” (80% of the government still worked) because our elected officials couldn’t come to an agreement on how to fund basic programs in the state, but now they talk about special sessions to fund a stadium? It’s insane. Can’t raise taxes for infrastructure or the disabled, but they have no problem talking about raising taxes for a stadium?

    • gtV

      Whether high school or basic ECON101 in college the present economic indicators point to the fact WE ARE IN A RECESSION, albeit ever so confusing. With the failure of of a couple major European investment firms, the Greek economic mess &/or bail-out plus the turmoil of the EEU and the Euro’s value, economic indicators, based on historical precedents, show we are on the precipice of a possible global Depression!!!.

      These economic indicators are based on fact and a long look at global and/or US history. It’s all in the history books!!! Also, the American economy throughout its history has had economic recessions and financial crashes. Fortunately, the government and people bounced back. How do you think J.P.Morgan made a vast source of his money. He baled out the US economy a couple times or so.

      This time in history is different and the global economy sets the pace for the US economic recovery or crash.. So don’t tell me we “are not” in a recession when the ” true” unemployment rate is 16-19%; home ownerships are foreclosing faster than the financial institutions can process the paperwork; the national poverty level is growing exponentially by the hour; and inflation [yes, inflation] or inflationary cost-of-living expenses are driving folks onto to the streets.

      Last but not least, don’t tell there isn’t a recession when I spend hours daily trying to find work to supplement pitiful Social Security benefits. My retirement became non-existent before the ’08 crash.

      Don’t tell me there isn’t a recession when my spouse had a great modest job at the top of her game, with seniority and benefits to boot, was “RIF’d” [reduction-in-force] out her job over ‘cost-cutting’ policies that didn’t take any considerations to her loyalty, seniority, and award winning work output. It’s approaching two years now and she is being told she is too experienced and “not fresh enough”[euphemism for being unemployed too long] for the ‘entry’ level positions she is applying for.

      Yes, maybe, Perception is 90% of reality, but, the cold hard stone facts of reality speak louder than any ersatz perceptions. The economics of our lives, Minnesota, and the US are in a mess. Yes, “we are” in a recession like a ship floundering in a storm without propulsion, steerage, or use of seaworthy lifeboats.

      Fortunately we can save the ship if we accept the conditions at hand and, together, work and figure out quickly the best way to steam to safe harbor. At present, our ship is taking on water and soon will sink. Now that is the perception of that 90% reality you allude to. Are you going to save the ship or abandon it? That’s the reality of today’s economic situation.

      • Amen


        First of all, Russ just got OWNED! Bravo!

        Second, Finally! Some one who gets it. THIS is THE truth about the economy and you sir, painted the true picture of the economy, perfectly. Couldn’t have said it any better myself. People as naive as Russ are the reason why not enough people in the country aren’t WAKING THE F–K UP, and why the ship will sadly, most likely sink.

        • Trey


          Agreed! I need not say more.

    • fired up

      Actually you are right for the wrong reasons. We are in a depression, even though no one wants to admit it.


      A period in which an economy is greatly affected by unemployment, low output, and poverty
      (encarta dictionary, 2011)

  • Little Clause In Metrodome Lease Puts Wrinkle On Stadium Plans « CBS Minnesota

    […] [WCCO] Share this No comments // […]

  • Go away Vikings and Zygi!

    Nothing for the Vikings or Zygi!!! NOTHING!!!

    Do it YOURSELVES or get out of MN.

    Go away! Leave! Be gone!

    • iknowit

      I believe we would all be better off if YOU leave. Get this stadium built and stop the political posturing. Stay, build it, & give the antis something new to cry about.

  • Working Man

    Zygi needs to take his band of Thugs & just go far,far away..NOW!!!

  • concerned state resident

    Look People we all have opinions on this. There are some fundamental questions we should be asking ourselves here.
    1) Do we understand that if the Vikings leave the state, because under tough economic there can be no agreement, that this will cause more impact to state and its income revenue.
    2) Do we understand whether or not this issue can be solved by having the vikings fund 60% of the project and the state (however we can agree on it) fund the other 40% for the good of the state?
    3) Do WE as a state have enough pride and care to keep a long standing tradition alive and well?
    4) Do WE s a state want to have a professional football team or not?

    I want to expand on point #1. Think about it, how much revenue is generated by people, both from in the state and outside of the state, for each game? Look at all the bars, restaurants, grocers (yes i said grocers) who benefit every weekend there is a game. We are not talking 50K we are talking well over a 1M a week!!!!!! This is 1M is ancillary sales (that include sales tax revenue to our state). So if we can get off of this bickering and just find a creative solution that makes most people happy and the team happy then lets get on with it. Think about it.

  • Sammy

    Esme, why are you censoring some comments?

  • Tony Rozycki

    Ha ha…Acts of God trigger the “fine print”. Sounds like Esme has uncovered another “Point of Law”, this time in the Viking Saga. A contract law version of another Viking speeding ticket? I suspect Thor is angry with the team, perhaps even with the league, & is now listening to commenters like Working Man & Zing about who should pay & who should own, corporate welfare cabbage & kings.

  • Susan

    There are no economic benefits to taxpayer subsidized stadiums. Anyone who tells you different is lying.


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