Minnesota Vikings fans are throwing a victory party because, 10 years later, they're finally getting their new stadium.
In a move that has been many, many years in the making, the state Senate finally approved a bill to build a new Vikings stadium that will cost about $975 million, following the House's approval.
The deal isn't completely done yet—a conference committee must still close an $80 million gap between the House and the Senate's proposals for team-provided funding—but as long as both chambers pass the final bills, there will soon be a new stadium in the Twin Cities.
And it's a good thing, too, because there was fear that after the expiration of the team's Metrodome lease, the Vikings would leave Minnesota if they didn't get a new stadium. According to the Associated Press, the Vikings have said that with their 30-year-old stadium, they can't make enough money to continue to compete in the NFL.
Now, everyone wins. The Vikings get new digs, and Minnesota gets to keep its team. All it will cost is almost a billion dollars and lots and lots of frustrated taxpayers. No big deal.
This "final" decision marks yet another turn in the back-and-forth negotiations, and even on Tuesday alone, lawmakers continued to flip-flop on amendments to the bill, prompting one witty tweet from punter Chris Kluwe:
To honor the Vikings stadium bill being debated right now, I'm going to sleep. Now I'm not. Now I am. #imreallyplayingtera— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) May 9, 2012
Then there's the issue of roof, or not to roof. Even after Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said that the team wouldn't be supporting a no-roof proposal, the Twitterverse went ballistic at the prospect of having an open-air stadium. Viking Update Magazine put it all in perspective for us:
Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder, for one, was ready to help his city hunt for a new stadium with the help of Brian Robison, center John Sullivan and tight end Kyle Rudolph, but he wasn't about to fight on an empty stomach:
Rudolph took time to thank the fans in the Twin Cities for their help and support:
Big step forward today in the House! Thanks again to all the fans who showed their support down at the Capitol this afternoon!— Kyle Rudolph (@KyleRudolph82) May 8, 2012
Now, we all can just wait a few days for another hurdle to pop up and thwart the stadium. Stay tuned.