The hoopla surrounding the Vikings' billion-dollar stadium deal with Arden Hills sure seemed to fizzle once everyone realized the thing might actually cost taxpayers a boatload of money. So is anyone truly shocked that the Vikings are entertaining anew the notion of moving to Los Angeles?
Anschutz Entertainment Group desperately wants a team for its proposed Farmers Field in downtown L.A., and it's offering to take a majority stake in an NFL franchise in order to make that happen.
And as recently as last week, AEG was rumored to be in talks with the Vikings -- AEG president Tim Leiweke has confirmed to the Orange County Register that the Vikes are on the company's short list.
"St. Louis, Jacksonville, not extensively, certainly Oakland, San Diego, Minnesota are still in the mix," Leiweke said listing the teams AEG has met with before adding: "We're not packing any (moving) vans right now."
This can't just be a coincidence. The Vikings owners want their new stadium built in Arden Hills with about $650 million in taxpayer support, and it feels like we're back to the usual game of chicken: The owners get what they want or the Vikings go the way of the Lakers and the North Stars.
ESPN's Kevin Seifert reads the tea leaves differently. But if the game actually plays out this way puts Ramsey County and state lawmakers in a hell of a predicament: Send the Vikings packing, or spend taxpayer dollars to help build a stadium for millionaires while the rest of the state goes broke.
Either way, with the stadium bill languishing at the Capitol, we seem to be coming down to the two-minute warning.