Vikings stadium: At last, a vote scheduled

On Wednesday, we campaigned for resolution -- one way or the other -- on the Minnesota Vikings stadium bill. On Thursday, legislative leaders took a big step in that direction by scheduling a vote on the floor of the state House of Representatives for Monday.

If the bill is approved by a majority of representatives, it would then be debated on the floor of the state Senate. Approval there could send the bill to a House-Senate conference committee for a final draft before it is sent to Gov. Mark Dayton.

So unless that schedule is amended, which is always possibility, we'll soon get the resolution we've been looking for. It will either die on the floor of the House early next week or move on for further debate.

That much seems obvious. Far more difficult is handicapping the bill's chances for approval, especially after a wild 48-hour stretch that ended Thursday afternoon with Republican leaders pulling a last-minute proposal to change the way the state's portion is financed. The bill to be heard Monday will include the original language to finance through electronic pull-tab games, something many in the Republican majority oppose. In fact, House Speaker Kurt Zellers said he will vote against the bill and called on Dayton to round up the "yes" votes himself.

It's reasonable to wonder if a bill could pass without support from the leader of the majority party. And this week's dramatics might have, in the end, revealed spotty support for legislative approval. But the bottom line is there are no longer appear any impediments to getting what the Vikings, the NFL and many of us in the observer's role have been asking for: A final answer on a decade-running story.

Lobbyists on both side of the issue will be busy over the next four days as vote recruitment hits its apex and deal making runs amok. Don't listen if anyone tries to tell you where this vote is leaning. The circus is only beginning.