Vikings stadium bill gets smacked around

Let's try to clear up some confusion on Minnesota's stadium proposal. The upshot: It is technically still alive but in serious danger of imminent demise.

Here's a timeline of what's happened in the past 24 hours:

  • A House committee approved a version of the bill late Tuesday night, but only after gutting it of most financing mechanisms.

  • A second House committee scuttled the revised bill Wednesday morning, however. In what was reportedly a contentious hearing, one state legislator demanded the Vikings pay 75 percent of the $791 bill instead of the 30 percent they have agreed to. This action essentially killed the House version of the bill; it is technically possible for it to be revived in a different form.

  • A Senate committee approved the bill Wednesday afternoon, but replaced the proposed financing options with personal seat licenses. This Star Tribune report casts heavy skepticism on whether personal seat licenses alone could account for the public portion of a financing plan.

What next? We'll see if any House legislators attempt to revive its version of the bill, and also whether the personal seat license issue has any momentum in the Senate. But one major stadium supporter told the Star Tribune that the chances of enacting a stadium bill this year is now less than five percent.

I'll save any post mortems for the appropriate time. But for now, it sure seems likely that another year will tick off the Vikings' lease at the Metrodome before the next meaningful dialogue on this issue takes place.