Vikings stadium: Still breathing

Unbeknownst to many, the Minnesota Vikings' stadium bill could have died a quiet, procedural death Thursday morning. A legislative committee kept it alive by granting a special waiver to proceed, but the bill now appears headed toward another holding pattern while state offices observe a one-week Easter/Passover break beginning Friday.

Committee hearings are expected to resume during the week of April 16, according to Doug Belden of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The 2012 state legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 30, but the end could come earlier and, regardless, it leaves the stadium bill on a tight timetable.

Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf said last week that there is enough time for the bill to make all of its legislative stops and still be approved before adjournment. It's difficult to tell how many state legislators share that optimism.

If anything, it seems clear that the Vikings' urgency to resolve this issue isn't matched in many Minnesota political circles. The team has already agreed to play at the Metrodome in 2012, even though its lease has expired, and no one from the Vikings' ownership has suggested or even implied that relocation could be on the table after next season if no deal is reached this month.

So for now we'll wish a hearty and happy holiday to the politicos. But by all means keep reading the NFC North blog. Our lights (almost) never shut off.