An interesting twist worked its way through Minnesota’s efforts to secure a new stadium Tuesday. It’s a pretty complicated bureaucratic issue, but Jay Weiner of MinnPost explains the bottom line here. Essentially, the commission that owns and operates the Metrodome has asked the Vikings to drop their primary leverage -- the 2011 expiration of their lease -- in exchange for financial breaks at the stadium.
That would come in the form of extending their lease at the Metrodome while seeking local options for new construction. If they do not extend, the commission proposes to reinstate rent charges that were dropped earlier this decade.
Vikings officials were livid with the request and called the offer a “non-starter.” A team spokesman said owner Zygi Wilf was “outraged” that the commission is seeking to extend its time in the Metrodome rather than working toward financing and building a new facility.
What does all this mean? From this vantage point, at least, it looks like the Vikings aren’t getting the speedy cooperation on a new stadium they had hoped. It continues to suggest they’re headed toward a crisis before this issue gets resolved. If both sides stand firm, the Vikings’ lease will expire without a new local stadium to move into, making them “free agents” if they seek to move elsewhere.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Mark Wilf, the Vikings’ president and co-owner, said Tuesday that quarterback Brett Favre is welcome to return in 2010. Wilf spoke with Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel chronicles the plight of Green Bay cornerback Al Harris’ son, who has Crohn’s disease.
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette looks at the Packers’ decision to draft linebacker A.J. Hawk rather than tight end Vernon Davis in the 2006 draft.
Packers defensive end Cullen Jenkins watches the Cartoon Network every night, he says in this edition of Tuesdays with Wilde on ESPN Milwaukee.
Chicago should just admit it’s a passing team, writes Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Less than 40,000 fans are expected for Sunday’s game between Detroit and Cleveland, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.
Detroit signed veteran offensive lineman Melvin Fowler, reports Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press, an indication that guard Stephen Peterman (ankle) will miss some time.