Reporting Esme Murphy
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.