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League could derail new Vikings stadium at site of Metrodome

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Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton wants a new Vikings stadium to be constructed on the site of the current one. After initially expressing frustration regarding the possibility, the Vikings are now optimistic.

But the NFL isn’t.

According to Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the league isn’t happy with a plan that would require the Vikings to spend up to three seasons at TCF Bank Stadium, the open-air facility on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

“I can tell you there won’t be a lot of happy campers among the membership,” an unnamed source close to the situation told Murphy. “TCF is a gem, but it’s not an NFL stadium.”

There are several problems with the alternative facility. “Capacity is way reduced,” the source told Murphy. “It’s a different atmosphere for visiting teams, not as much of a home-field advantage for the Vikings. Nobody has figured out how the team will fill that loss of revenue hole. There’s still a lot of wood to chop.”

Some of the wood that needs to be chopped relates to the service of a beverage made with hops. Alcohol sales are prohibited at TCF Bank Stadium, but the university reportedly is willing to make an exception for NFL games played there.

Teams rarely are forced to play elsewhere while stadiums are being constructed. In 2002, the Bears spent a season at the University of Illinois while Soldier Field underwent renovations. Though many in Minnesota would welcome the opportunity to ditch the dome for a few years and get back outside, Metropolitan stadium-style, the better approach would be to use the Metrodome until the new building is ready. If the new building will be on the site of the Metrodome, that simply won’t be a possibility.