Lester Bagley, the Minnesota Vikings’ VP of stadium development and public affairs, said two different groups have approached him about possibly moving the team to Los Angeles.
But Bagley said the team does not plan to move.
One of the interested parties is AEG. The sports-entertainment firm is plotting a privately funded football stadium near the Staples centre in Los Angeles, with or without a firm commitment from an NFL franchise.
AEG is the largest owner of sports teams, stadiums, and entertainment events in the world.
The other is Ed Roski, a Los Angeles real estate billionaire, who has long been in talks to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles. Like AEG, Roski believes Los Angeles needs a stadium before it can work to get a team and he’s willing to build it largely with his own money.
The Vikings are one of the teams being targeted by Los Angeles, because their lease in the 28-year-old Metrodome ends this year. The Vikings want a new stadium, but no such stadium exists and city and state won’t commit to building one.
A recent visit to LA by owner Zygi Wilf fuelled further speculation, but he said he made the visit purely for inspiration on a new building in Minnesota.
That doesn’t sound credible.
Still, it’s difficult to imagine the Vikings – a team with strong attendance that’s one year removed from an NFC championship appearance – ending their 50-year run in Minnesota. This latest news will put pressure on the stadium construction process by subtly threatening a westward move.
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