BBAO: Legislators invite Vikings relocation

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak has produced an expected last-minute push to win an ongoing site battle for the Minnesota Vikings' proposed new stadium, but it's unclear how serious and practical the Minneapolis option can be at this late stage in the game.

Rybak is no doubt backed by some powerful business interests that want the Vikings to remain downtown, but the team rejected his efforts Thursday and said it is committed to its chosen site in suburban Arden Hills. According to the Star Tribune, Rybak made the proposal without an endorsement from the Minneapolis City Council, which must vote to approve any funding mechanism.

In some ways, the Minneapolis proposal will distract from what remains the single biggest obstacle facing the Vikings: Convincing a large number of stadium opponents and tax opponents in the state legislature to approve the project. Thursday, a bipartisan group of state legislators held a news conference to confirm they would prefer relocation of the team over committing taxpayer dollars (or new gambling revenues) to a new stadium.

Said Sen. David Hann: "We don't want them to leave, but if they're going to leave I guess that is going to happen."

As we have discussed many times, stadium politics usually careens into some scary rhetoric. We've now entered that arena.

Continuing around the NFC North: