While the majority of the talk and focus this offseason has been on improving the defense of the Vikings, the pressing stadium issue surrounding the state of the Vikings continues to gain steam.
The sad state of affairs between the Vikings and the Minnesota state legislature is believed to be far worse than many expected, especially those people close to the ongoing situation within the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission. Incidentally, it is rather ironic that suddenly information has been delivered to The Insiders and Viking Update on this testy affair.
The state legislature does not believe that the Vikings, led by Red McCombs, have much of a chance to break the lease to the Metrodome. Behind the scene activities between the NFL and representatives for McCombs are beginning to show signs of a much different tale.
"Sure, the Vikings have a lease with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission for use of the Metrodome facility through the 2011 season. There is a great amount of debate about the structure of the agreement and the ability of the Vikings to pay their way out of the lease if they chose to," a state legislature representative said. "Our stance is that we have an agreement with the Minnesota Vikings and we expect that they will hold to their commitment."
"If this situation continues to fester, we will take the appropriate action to secure that the Vikings play football in the Metrodome for the foreseeable future."
As this brewing issue continues to gain momentum, neither the Vikings, the league, nor Red McCombs has attempted anything more than a feeble notion to quiet the speculation that could potentially strip football from the fans in the Twin Cities.
"The league attempted to give some modest assurance that they will do everything they can to help with the stadium issue and possible moving of the team from Minnesota. The belief is that the league would prefer for McCombs to sell the team, but an issue within that stance is that the league wants to continue to assure themselves and fellow ownership groups that the asking price for franchises continue to rise," a league source said. "McCombs reportedly wanted $600 million for the team. He will not get that. Right now, $450 million dollars would compete and McCombs has balked.
"Now, this isn't about the fans, the history, or the name and future of the Minnesota Vikings, it is all about how much McCombs can put in his pocket."
Through all the talks, the possibility of a move to Los Angeles remains a viable option for McCombs. Looking for a team, Los Angeles has had numerous communications with as many as three teams in the league within the past few months.
"Minnesota is one of three teams that has been linked to Los Angeles. Some of the discussion has been cordial ‘how do you do' talk, while others have been somewhat deeper in nature," the source continued. "For the most part, the league would rather move an existing franchise into Los Angeles, as the league owners are against any further expansion.
"Also, if the Vikings were to move to Los Angeles, it would not be under the ownership of McCombs. The word circulating is that once the Los Angeles group is ready, they will offer to purchase an existing franchise, and McCombs presently appears to be their match. There is a long way to go before Los Angeles is ready, and Minnesota may be a moot point by then."
And, what could be meant by Minnesota being a moot point by then?
"We will find a way to get the stadium issues resolved for all involved -- the Vikings, the Twins, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers. As a state we may not have the ability to do all at once, but we believe that we are working towards something that all parties can easily live with," the state representative said. "Who wouldn't want to work this out? the fan base is committed to the Vikings, as we are. A nice new stadium should provide the team, as well as the community, with an opportunity to grow, increase the number of jobs in the area, as well as having the opportunity to show off a new complex to the country."
Opinions About Stadium Feasibility Vary
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