For months now, the Vikings ownership group has clearly favored the Arden Hills site as their chosen location for a stadium, and while it still remains No. 1 on their list, it appears the team doesn't believe Ramsey County can handle the finances necessary to get the $1.1 billion stadium built.
Lester Bagley made that very clear Thursday when the Vikings vice president said, "Arden Hills is on life support" as far as a stadium site goes.
Bagley said it appears that Minneapolis, with three possible stadium sites proposed, is in a better position to finance the stadium.
Meanwhile, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf talked to Mark Dayton on Thursday to try to encourage the governor to get something going with the Legislature on Tuesday.
Apparently, some of the key members of the Legislature have been meeting trying to find a solution to the Vikings stadium problem.
For a period, it appeared the stadium situation was making good progress but now there is talk, even by Dayton, that a bill won't be passed in this session. That would be a disaster, and it might make for a great possibility that the Vikings could move to Los Angeles, where they are set to build a stadium that will be ready by 2015.U hopes for Dome site
Meanwhile, Gophers baseball coach John Anderson, men's track coach Steve Plasencia and even men's basketball coach Tubby Smith are hoping the Metrodome site is chosen for a new stadium.
Anderson said he would take a new Metrodome stadium in a minute rather than a new stadium on campus. That's even though the Gophers are playing a full schedule at the current Metrodome this year.
Plasencia said the University Fieldhouse, where the track team practices and where various events are held, is in terrible shape, and he also would welcome a chance for a new stadium near campus.
And Smith said a new domed stadium would attract events such as the NCAA Final Four and also could also be the site of some Gophers basketball games against big-time opponents.
Gophers athletic director Joel Maturi said his athletic department couldn't handle the cost of operating the current Dome alone.
However, there is no reason that a new indoor football stadium for the Vikings couldn't be constructed so that it could not only handle various Gophers events, but events for other area colleges as well.
To be clear, a new stadium would be built first to handle the Vikings. But in the same way that the Metrodome has handled various events other than Vikings and Twins games, there is no reason why a new domed stadium couldn't be built to do the same.
The involvement of college athletics would make it another reason for the members of the Legislature to vote in favor of a stadium.Wolves looking good
The Timberwolves have certainly looked much better after so many down years, and it shows in some of the numbers they have put up so far.
For instance, Ricky Rubio's six steals against Detroit on Wednesday were the most by a Wolves player since Kevin Garnett had seven against the Clippers on Jan. 27, 2007. Rubio was two short of tying the club record, held by Tyrone Corbin (March 30, 1990, at Dallas) and Terrell Brandon (March 24, 2000 at New Jersey).
Defensively, the Wolves held the Pistons to 85 points, the fifth time in 14 games they have held an opponent below 90 points for a game. That's one short of the number of times they held opponents to below 90 points over the full 82-game schedule last season.
And their 6-8 record is their best mark through 14 games since opening 6-8 in 2006-07.Gophers recruits help
The fact that Mankato West's Philip Nelson and Waconia's Maxx Williams played with Hopkins' Andre McDonald in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl might help the Gophers recruit the outstanding receiver. Nelson and Williams are friends and Gophers recruits.
McDonald, who originally committed to the Gophers, withdrew his commitment, then committed to Vanderbilt and withdrew again. He visited the Gophers last weekend. He is currently playing basketball for Hopkins and has been invited to play in the International Bowl on Feb. 1 in Austin, Texas.Jottings
• Though an ESPN.com report suggested that Marc Trestman could be an outside contender as the next coach of the Indianapolis Colts, replacing Jim Caldwell, the Montreal Gazette reported Thursday that it wouldn't be surprising if the St. Louis Park High School product signed a contract extension soon to remain coach of the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, a team he has led to two Grey Cup titles. However, Trestman will need a new Alouettes defensive coordinator, as St. Paul native Tim Tibesar left to take the same job at Purdue.
• Two of the Gophers football team's top recruits are rated high by national services. Mankato West's Nelson, a quarterback, is ranked among Tom Lemming's top 100 nationally, and St. Thomas Academy lineman Isaac Hayes is ranked among ESPN's top 150. Nelson has already graduated high school and has enrolled at the university.
• The Packers signed former Gophers fullback Jon Hoese to their roster, as well as all seven other players they had on the practice squad at the end of the year. Hoese played in four preseason games with the Packers, then was signed to the practice squad on Dec. 15. ... Similarly, the Broncos signed quarterback Adam Weber to a two-year contract after the former Gophers standout spent the entire 2011 season on the Denver practice squad. ... And Dominic Alford signed with the Browns after the former Gophers offensive lineman after spending all of last season on their practice squad.
• The Vikings signed two free agents to future contracts: tight end Daniel Hardy, a Buccaneers seventh-round pick last year who spent time on the Saints practice squad, and tackle Jose Valdez, who spent three seasons on the Falcons practice squad after going undrafted.
• Lakeville North quarterback Trey Heid, the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year, is headed for Division II Augustana, where he joins three other former Panthers already playing at the Sioux Falls school: running back Dajon Newell and linebackers Ben Skelly and Thomas Vanasek.
• Totino-Grace receiver/defensive back Andy Moritko, the son of former Gophers lineman Jeff Moritko, was offered a preferred walk-on situation by the Gophers but will attend South Dakota State on scholarship instead.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. • firstname.lastname@example.org