Red Wants Stadium Deal Soon

Vikings owner Red McCombs has made no mystery of his intentions for the Vikings. If they don't get a new stadium, they will not be around for the end of the lease at the Metrodome.

Vikings owner Red McCombs has less than a week before the start of training camp and, while he has no problem with the Vikings training camp home in Mankato or even the training home at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, his Sunday home at the Metrodome continues to be a front burner headache.

McCombs said over the weekend that he was disappointed with the lack of action by the State Legislature, which denied a request from a privately-funded study into the feasibility studies for new stadiums for the Vikings and Twins. With a Twins proposal also shot down at the last legislative session, now it appears the Vikings and Twins may be in competition with each other for their own stadium proposals, unless they can get together to work for a new multipurpose stadium.

McCombs was pretty direct about his feelings about the Metrodome. He was encouraged that the city of New Orleans and state of Louisiana stepped up to give the Saints $25 million over the next two years to help compensate for revenue shortfalls at the Superdome, but no such deal looms on the horizon for the Vikings.

McCombs is adament that the Vikings Metrodome lease, which runs through 2011, is not an issue because, with an ever widening gap in revenue from new stadiums, the Vikings won't be around in 2011 if they have to stay in the Metrodome. The bottom line is simple -- either McCombs gets a new stadium, he sells the team or he moves them. Period.

* A date of Aug. 13 has been set for hearing a grievance in federal court in St. Paul of former Vikings employee Mickey Giulliani. He was the team's merchandising manager for 38 years before being fired in August, 1999. He claims he was wrongfully terminated and the Vikings have declined comment on the matter other than to say it was a personnel decision within the rights of the organization.
* Cortez Kennedy's name has popped up once again. Kennedy, who is still unsigned despite getting earlier offers from the Vikings and Dolphins, remains unemployed. He's working out with a personal trainer and believes he will get a call, but won't accept the league veteran minimum of $500,000 that has been offered. He says he's in shape and ready to go, but will wait by the phone and, unless a call from a contender comes offering him something in the range of $1 million a year, he'll stay in Florida until the call comes. Good luck, Tez. Don't call us, maybe we'll call you.

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