Gov. says Minnesota could face competition for Vikings
With increased chatter about the NFL returning to the Los Angeles market (finally), Minnestoa Gov. Mark Dayton acknowledged his state could face competition for the Vikings franchise in the near future if a new stadium plan isn’t finalized and approved.
Dayton said Friday that he spoke with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday and Goodell told him the vacant L.A. market makes it more important for Minnesota to solve the stadium issue for the Vikings, who will be out of their lease at the Metrodome after this season.
The NFL has long used L.A. as a bargaining chip to get new stadiums built. In fact, some of said L.A. was more valuable to the league without a franchise than with one because it helped drive a wave of new stadiums. But the move to get a team there seems genuine now.
Without a new home, the Vikings would be a candidate to follow the Los Angeles Lakers, the NBA franchise that used to be based in Minneapolis.
"If we don't act in some way and get a stadium project going, it's unrealistic in my opinion to think that we are not going to face competition for the team in the near future," Dayton said, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The is a plan to build a stadium in suburban Arden Hills, but it is facing growing concerns. Many believe for a successful stadium to be built, it needs to be in downtown Minneapolis. The Vikings would like to proceed with the Arden Hills plan because it’s in the works and would get them in a new building fastest.
It sounds like the key players need to determine what is best for the region and what is best for the team and then work on the same page. Otherwise, L.A. could come calling.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune