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TCF Bank Stadium: Vikings still hedging

As business hours came to a close Wednesday, there was no official confirmation on where Monday night's game between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears -- now five days away, according to my calendar -- would be played.

No rush, people.

The Vikings' weekly press release reported the game's location as "TBD" (a.ka. Location TBA Stadium), and in a brief statement, the Vikings referred to the situation as "fluid."

Meanwhile, an associate athletic director at the University of Minnesota has told the Star Tribune and 1500ESPN.com that the NFL is "on board" with the plan to move the game to TCF Bank Stadium and that school officials are confident the game will be played there.

At this point, the Vikings' refusal to confirm that information is more an annoyance than it is a sign the game could ultimately be played elsewhere. For reasons I don't fully understand, the team has postured itself publicly as a bystander in the process of finding a suitable place to play. It has cast the league office in the lead role and allowed the University to communicate most available information to the public.

That information has mostly revolved around the stadium's infrastructure and what is expected to be a five-day process of removing snow from the stands and field. But we still have no idea how the team will convert tickets or how it will whittle down some 12,000 ticket-holders who won't get a seat in the University's smaller stadium. There have been vague suggestions of temporary bleachers, which sounds like a pleasant option for what could be a frigid evening.

And 1500ESPN.com has reported an additional hurdle: Suite holders at the TCF Bank Stadium will have first priority Monday night, likely shutting out those who own Metrodome suites.

At some point, the Vikings will have to take public control of a situation that affects them more than it does the NFL or the University. I don't doubt they prefer to be disconnected publicly from this fiasco. And I understand that the unprecedented nature of this project leaves open the possibility of an unexpected obstacle emerging later this week.

But the clock is ticking. At some point, if they're not certain that TCF Bank Stadium will be ready, don't they have to move to an alternate site -- perhaps Indianapolis or St. Louis -- to ensure a smooth transition? How long will the Vikings follow this "plan" before they're able definitively to tell their fans, not to mention the Bears, where this game will be played? I think everyone is entitled to that answer -- sooner rather than later.