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Does stalemate in Minnesota mean Vikings are eyeing Los Angeles?

The stadium situation in Minneapolis is looking bleak, and NFL executives are brought in to address the issue.

April 19, 2012|By Sam Farmer
  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is scheduled to meet with Minnesota leaders on Friday.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is scheduled to meet with Minnesota leaders… (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press )

With the Vikings' hope of a new stadium in Minnesota growing more bleak by the day, the NFL has brought in its top executives to address the situation -- with the ever-present threat of a relocation to Los Angeles looming over the process.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is scheduled to meet Friday in Minneapolis with top state leaders, among them Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders from both parties, according to the Star Tribune. Steelers owner Art Rooney II, chair of the NFL's stadium committee, is in town too.

The Vikings have been angling for a $975-million stadium to be built partly on the Metrodome site, with the state shouldering $398 million of the load, the city paying $150 million, and the Vikings and the NFL covering the remaining $427 million. The club's Metrodome lease is up -- the agreement expired at the end of last season -- but the Vikings will play in the stadium this season.

To their great frustration, the Vikings have been unable to get their proposed stadium bill to the floor for a full vote of the state Legislature. That bill died in a House committee Monday, and the sides have reached a stalemate.

The Vikings have stood by and watched the Minnesota Twins get their ballpark, and the University of Minnesota get a football stadium, and there has been little movement on the NFL front.

Meanwhile, the NFL has two stadium options in L.A. -- downtown and in the city of Industry -- and, although Goodell has said no team will move this season, all bets are off for next year.

According to a Daily News report, a plane belonging to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was spotted Thursday at a Southern California airport.

That's an interesting coincidence, although Wilf does own real estate in California and has a fleet of planes. Still, when Colts owner Jim Irsay hit a dead end on a publicly funded stadium in Indianapolis a decade ago, he caused a stir in that city when his plane -- complete with horseshoe on the tail -- sat at Van Nuys airport for several weeks.

The Colts, of course, ultimately wound up getting their stadium and stayed in Indianapolis.

The way this week has gone for the Vikings, it's easy to see why team officials can envision a more dire outcome.

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Does stalemate in Minnesota mean Vikings are eyeing Los Angeles?

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