Vikings stadium: A 'very significant' step

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Minnesota Vikings need approval from two political entities to get approval for their $975 million stadium project. They cleared one Monday, and have now set their sights on the second.

News that a majority of the Minneapolis City Council supports the plan might qualify as the best news in the team's decade-long pursuit of a new facility. It establishes political support from a previously divided group and shifts the focus squarely on the Minnesota state legislature, whose leaders were awaiting city approval before considering the bill on a state level.

Stopping for a moment here at the NFL owners meetings, Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf said: "The city support was critical in advancing this at the legislature." I know we've seen plenty of fits and starts in this process, but I agreed with Vikings vice president of stadium development Lester Bagley when he said: "This was a critical component to move forward. It was very significant."

The 2012 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn next month, but Wilf said the team remains confident there is enough time to address the stadium proposal. If nothing, skittish state legislators will have one less excuse for delaying an extended hearing on the issue.