The Vikings said a meeting last month with Los Angeles real estate developers was more about bringing a little L.A. to Minnesota than moving the Vikings to southern California.
Team VP Lester Bagley said the Vikings management was thinking about asking a Los Angeles development company to run a new stadium, much as they already do with the Target Center in Minneapolis and several other high-profile venues around the country.
But the Orange County Register is putting a different spin on the matter today. According the paper, billionaire developer Philip Anschutz is looking to buy into an NFL franchise with an eye toward bringing the league back to L.A. for the first time in 16 years.
His AEG company is proposing to build a new NFL venue, and have already sold the naming rights to Farmers Insurance for a reported $1 billion if two teams play there. Here’s what it looks like on the Farmers Field website.
“St. Louis, Jacksonville, not extensively, certainly Oakland, San Diego, Minnesota are still in the mix,” AEG president Tim Leiweke told the Register. That’s ominous talk as a deal with the Vikings and the state of Minnesota could be headed for an impasse.
Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, said yesterday that she and House bill author Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, could join the governor in demanding final details on a stadium deal as soon as Tuesday. A tentative deal struck between Ramsey County and the Vikings in May has them moving to Arden Hills, but the state says their plan is short $131 million to pay for road improvements needed to handle traffic for the stadium and expected development around it.
Bagley says the team is shopping a solution around the Capitol and met with Rosen yesterday.
“We’re 100 percent behind getting this deal done in Arden Hills, and we think we can get it done this year,” Bagley said today.
He said the team had not talked to Leiweke since the May meeting and stood by his earlier contention that the conversation was chiefly about bringing in AEG to manage a new Vikings stadium in Minnesota.