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Reality Check: When Vikings Can Notify NFL Of Departure

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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ST. PAUL (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings stadium issue is a game of time clocks, countdowns and deadlines. One date is quietly coming up that lawmakers are starting to watch: The date the Vikings can notify the NFL they’re leaving.

The Vikings’ last game of the 2011 season was also the last game on their Metrodome lease. Now, the Vikes are the only NFL franchise without one.

It’s TRUE.

The Vikings said they won’t sign another lease until the legislature votes on taxpayer funding for a new stadium — preferably in Arden Hills. That’s why Gov. Mark Dayton set Thursday as a deadline for all stadium plans to be on his desk.

That’s NOT THE WHOLE STORY.

If the legislature does NOT act, or votes NO, or a stadium bill stalls, the Vikings can legally notify the NFL of its intention to move.

Here’s what you NEED TO KNOW:

It’s all in the NFL Constitution. If a team declares a stadium stalemate, it can legally move.

The bylaws of the NFL require the team to tell the league no later than Feb. 15. And 24 of 32 NFL owners must vote yes.

Even if the Vikings decided to move, however, it is highly unlikely there could be a mechanism in place for relocation any time soon, and the Vikings won’t discuss it.

A representative for the team said Monday that the team is “focused on reaching a resolution in Minnesota.”

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