Obstacles have stood in the way of the NFL expanding into the Los Angeles market. From the departure of teams from that area to the battle with Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, the league and Los Angeles have been a match that hasn't materialized.
It hadn't, but the opportunity is now becoming a priority for the league.
Rumored for the better part of two years, the Minnesota Vikings have always been a likely candidate for the Los Angeles opening. Wanting a new stadium, looking for a sweetheart of a deal, Red McCombs is a time bomb waiting to explode out of the Minnesota scene.
The problem for McCombs has been that not a single entity has offered up the $600 million price tag that he has placed on the team. Without a firm commitment from the State of Minnesota, McCombs has let it be known that the Vikings are a team that could be had. A stadium package that would drop millions of dollars in McCombs' pockets on a yearly basis on suite revenue has been an issue and his desire.
"McCombs really likes being the owner of a major sports franchise, as long as he can get what he wants. He is demanding, very prudent and has turned many of his fellow owners in the National Football League off with some of his antics," a league source said. "The Vikings are headed in the right direction and they are a team rich in history and tradition.
"It would be a travesty if the Vikings were removed from the Minnesota area."
As McCombs has been rumored to have been in talks with three potential ownership groups that had an interest in the Vikings, it has been his staunch stance that has left the Minnesota franchise in a precarious position.
"The team could have been sold for $450 million, possibly $500 million, but McCombs has held firm on his price, which has been rumored in league circles to be as high as 600 million dollars," the source said. "I wouldn't place all the blame on McCombs though. The league has had some input on the direction of the team and it is safe to say that the league does not want to see teams sold -- but if they are, they want top dollar value.
"The league would rather move an existing franchise into the Los Angeles market. Which team ultimately is the question."
As for the Minnesota Vikings, if the team isn't sold or a stadium isn't build, the Vikings that we know could be headed west. That possibility remains and will continue to until the legislative posturing in the state government ceases one way or another. That could make McCombs the long-term owner and a richer man, or it could push him to sell, not sell out.
Source: McCombs Holding Firm
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