Last Chance for Stadium Help?

Vikings owner Red McCombs is leading what may be a final pitch for the Vikings to get $100 million in NFL funding for a new Minnesota stadium.

Locally, the NFL's owners meetings in Houston have received little to no coverage, but today could be a huge day for the history of Vikings football -- especially as it relates to the future.

The NFL has operated under a system called G-3 funding, which provided money for owners to build stadiums to prevent what was viewed as a rash of relocations, following moves by the L.A. Rams, L.A. Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Colts and Cleveland Browns. However, the league has more stability now and discussions have centered on ending G-3 funding after this year.

For that reason, the top brass with the Vikings, who have long been fed up with the lack of revenue from the Metrodome, are making a pitch to get the G-3 funding pool to earmark $100 million for a new Vikings stadium this year in the event it is closed out -- hoping to grandfather in on the program and give the state incentive to get moving on a stadium proposal.

If the Vikings don't succeed in their plan, G-3 funding could evaporate and the potential $100 million in stadium assistance could go away. If that happens, the possibility exists that the Vikings could go somewhere that has a revenue-generating stadium in place -- making today's discussions critical for the future of the Vikes in Minnesota.

* Cris Carter still is out of work and it might stay that way. The one team many think is still interested in Carter is Miami, but, according to team V.P. Rick Spielman, signing Carter "isn't on the radar screen" for the Dolphins.
* NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced the creation of a five-owner task force to explore league options to moving back into the Los Angeles market, where a new stadium is being planned. The owners represent Carolina, Cleveland, Miami, New England and Pittsburgh and are expected to make a recommendation to the owners about the possibility of relocating a team to L.A. or even considering future expansion.
* The owners have effectively shot down a plan to have a Super Bowl in an outdoor northern site like New York or Washington. Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, some pleas were made to move the Super Bowl to New York or Washington D.C. as a sign of U.S. unity. However, the potential for horrendous weather torpedoed that plan. For such a move to be made, 24 of the 32 owners would have to agree and an informal poll taken Tuesday of about half the owners already showed the three-fourths majority could not be achieved. The next open Super Bowl date is 2007.

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