Black and Blue all over: Stadium talk

Last month, one of the chief lobbyists for the public entity that owns the Metrodome suggested time was running out for the Vikings to get their stadium proposal discussed -- much less passed -- in Minnesota's 2010 legislative session. This week, however, signs have emerged that the effort has not been totally abandoned for this year.

Mike Kaszuba of the Star Tribune reports that behind-the-scenes discussions have "intensified" and quotes a prominent state legislator saying that a formal bill is close to being drafted. There are five weeks left remaining in the session, but many other state issues -- including K-12 education funding -- have yet to be resolved.

The team is hoping to capitalize on public reaction to Target Field, the Minnesota Twins' new outdoor ballpark that has drawn rave reviews. A new Vikings stadium would cost about twice as much at Target Field; it's projected at $870 million. The team's lease on the Metrodome expires after the 2011 season.

Continuing around the NFC North: