A schedule swap for Minnesota and Green Bay?
September, 19, 2009
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
Here’s one to keep in the back of your mind: The possibility exists of a Metrodome schedule conflict for the Oct. 5 "Monday Night Football" game between Minnesota and Green Bay.
In a worst-case scenario, the Vikings and Packers might have to swap home dates for this season. That would move up quarterback Brett Favre’s return to Lambeau Field about a month. Currently, the Vikings are scheduled to play Nov. 1 in Green Bay.
Here’s the situation, as explained by Joe Christensen and Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune: If baseball’s Twins finish the regular season tied with Detroit or Chicago for first place in the AL Central, they’ll have to play a division tie-breaker Oct. 5. That game would be at the Metrodome if the Twins finish with a better head-to-head record than the team they’re tied with. Currently, the Twins lead Detroit 8-4 and Chicago 9-6 in their regular season matchups.
Major League Baseball has claimed priority at the Metrodome if it comes to that. But in previous cases where this possibility has arisen, the Vikings have noted their Metrodome lease gives them priority over the building except for World Series games. The last time this possibility arose, the government entity that owns the Metrodome paid the Vikings a six-figure fee to shift a 2006 Sunday game to the following Monday night if the Twins needed the building that day.
The conflict never arose, and the Vikings played Sunday as scheduled. But the episode set a precedent of paying off the Vikings to change their home schedule.
So keep an eye on the baseball standings. The Twins were three games behind the Tigers as of Saturday morning, but the season doesn’t end until Oct. 4. I would hope the sides will announce an either-or scenario before then, but I can’t guarantee it. We’ll keep you updated.