If Minnesota doesn't want the Vikings, they would have a potential suitor.
It's a familiar stalker of the Vikings franchise – the Anschutz Entertainment Group. AEG, as it is better known, has come up with a plan to build a state-of-the-art stadium with 72,000 seats next to the Staples Center in downtown L.A. The only thing missing is a team. That is the next order of business and the Vikings are dead center in the mix.
Tim Leiweke, the CEO of AEG, told the Orange County Register that five teams are "in the mix" to come to southern California. The Vikings are one of them, along with the Rams (who left L.A. for St. Louis), the Oakland Raiders (who were also once the Los Angeles Raiders), the San Diego Chargers and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
All of those teams "in the mix" have legitimate reasons for leaving. Purists believe the Rams belong in Los Angeles, so going back home would make sense. The Jaguars had to cover seats to avoid the humiliation of having a half-empty stadium in one of the bigger over-shoots in NFL expansion history. Al Davis would love to pocket millions to agree to a "maybe move" back down the coast in his ongoing bid to get a new stadium in Oakland – which brought him to L.A. in the first place. The Chargers would have the least fan impact, since some Chargers fans would likely be willing to drive up the Cally coast to see their team.
Then there are the Vikings. Red McCombs vowed he wouldn't move the team from Minnesota when he bought the team from the fabled Gang of Ten ownership group. A man of his word, McCombs did just that, cashing a really big check, mothballing his purple suit and headin' back to San Antone. The investment group headed by Zygi and Mark Wilf took McCombs' place and, as it currently stands, is as close as any Vikings ownership group to getting a NFL-quality stadium, as opposed to what Met Stadium and the Metrodome have been since both opened their doors.
Yet, it seems like the hurdles the Vikings have to jump through just keep on coming. They're on the AEG radar for a reason. All AEG needs is one team to jump and they're ready to roll. The same is true for Ed Roski.
Remember him? He's the developer who has a plan to build a stadium in the City of Industry. He's looking for a team to make his stadium a reality and the Vikings are on his short list as well.
At some point, a team is going to say "California, here we come." Minnesota has a chance to make sure the Vikings aren't that team. But, after coming this far, failure in Minnesota is an option for Los Angeles.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
California comes calling on Vikings
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