In response to the report from Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press regarding a Tuesday night meeting between Vikings management and folks from AEG, the company that wants to build a new pro football stadium in downtown L.A., Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that the meeting arose from an interest by the Wilf family in building an entertainment district in the vicinity of the stadium that the team plans to build in Arden Hills.
That’s fine, but let’s not be naive. AEG has an existing entertainment district in L.A., and AEG needs at least one — and presumably would prefer two — NFL tenants for the football stadium it wants to build.
And if the Wilfs want advice on how to build an entertainment district in Minnesota, it would be foolish for AEG not to help out. If nothing else, the gesture could give AEG some insight into whether or not the Vikings will potentially be in play for relocation. Then, if it all falls apart in Minnesota, AEG already has the relationship in place, strengthened by the fact that AEG was willing to help the Vikings find a way to make things work.
Put simply, AEG is the guy who desperately wants to date a female friend who currently is in a difficult relationship. Worst-case scenario, he strengthens the friendship. Best case scenario, she moves to L.A. with him.
The fact that the meeting, as reported by Walters, occurred in a manner that allowed it to be noticed likely was no accident. So while the Vikings can plausibly claim that they aren’t doing anything to overtly put the squeeze on Minnesota to get a stadium built, the mere existence of the line of communication should give the powers-that-be in the land of 10,000 lakes a little extra incentive to get their act together, quickly.