Minnesota Vikings fans can stop worrying now. The stadium bill has officially passed the Senate, and a new stadium can now be built.
The news comes from ESPN's Tom Pelissero, via Twitter:
Senate passes #Vikings stadium bill. Cheers heard in the hallway. 38-28— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 10, 2012
The only step left for the $975 million stadium to be fully approved is for governor Mark Dayton to sign the measure, and as Martiga Lohn of the Associated Press reports, Dayton has already stated that he will do so.
So long, Metrodome.
A new stadium has been a long time coming for Minnesota. The Vikings have been chasing an upgrade for nearly a decade, but never had any leverage until the 30-year-old lease on the Metrodome expired this year.
The new stadium is pricey and the public expense is high, but I think most sports fans—Vikings fans in particular—are happy to see Minnesota keep its team.
Most importantly, the Vikings' future is safe for another 30 years with this new stadium.
With the ordeal of losing the Lakers and the North Stars in the past, Minnesotans know the pain of losing a franchise quite possibly better than anyone else.
This is a good day in sports history.
I think I can speak for most people when I say it's horrible when a city is forced to surrender its professional sports team. With this news, a storied NFL franchise is staying put—at least for now.