Vikings, State, Dig Billion-Dollar Hole In Minneapolis

Football fans, elected leaders and Vikings big shots assembled under a heated tent on Tuesday to celebrate the symbolic groundbreaking for a new Vikings stadium and the demolition of the old Metrodome. Pastries, coffee and ranks of gold-painted shovels and purple-horned hard hats were arrayed for the event, which was celebrated with a round of fireworks in the east parking lot of the Metrodome. The explosions may have been apt: Despite the festive celebration, the groundbreaking was carried out with an air of urgency: The $1 billion stadium, facing a host of political and financial problems, is still under the gun and the fake hole — the dignitaries used their shovels on a carefully arranged foot-deep pile of dirt that had been manicured above the cement parking surface, the black dirt surrounded by green swatches of indoor-outdoor carpeting giving the appearance of a freshly dug grave site — is not likely to be the end of things. The “groundbreaking” almost didn’t happen this year. It was supposed to have occurred months ago, after the state sold the bonds to pay for the stadium.

Charlotte Gets DNC Nod; Rybak Congratulates

First Lady Michelle Obama informed the public earlier this hour that Charlotte, North Carolina, has been selected to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention — at which her husband will make his bid for reelection.