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Report: Vikings management met with AEG officials on Tuesday

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Buried near the bottom of the latest mish-mash of rumors and speculation from Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press appears an item that probably should have appeared on the front page, above the fold.

Per Walters:  “Spotted at the W Hotel in downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday night were members of Vikings owner Zygi Wilf’s management and stadium development team meeting with LA Live! honcho Tim Leiweke and his AEG team that is considering a stadium for Los Angeles.”

That’s big stuff.  Far bigger than something that should be nestled below gems like a kid from Winona State visiting the Golden Gophers’ football program last week and the local WNBA team drawing 2,055 fans for an exhibition game.

With the Vikings poised to become free agents after the 2011 season, it’s no surprise that the folks from AEG would want to talk — or that the Vikings would want to listen.  As each day goes by without the Vikings having a deal in place to build a new stadium in Minnesota, the chances that they’ll follow the Lakers to L.A. increase.

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41 Responses to “Report: Vikings management met with AEG officials on Tuesday”
  1. airraid77 says: May 26, 2011 7:40 PM

    the state of minnesota is going to pay for its sins…..and un necessecarily so………
    Dont be surprised if negotiations are cut off, and the vikings just play in the rosebowl next year……and the NFL to never return to the state of minnesota.

  2. cosanostra71 says: May 26, 2011 7:40 PM

    it’s gonna happen!!

  3. whatsafairway says: May 26, 2011 7:41 PM

    I don’t know, this seems like a long name for an NFL team.

    Señores de las drogas de Los Ángeles

  4. seabreezes51 says: May 26, 2011 7:46 PM

    LA SurferDudes

  5. dazdillinger213 says: May 26, 2011 7:49 PM

    Just a day after the Legislature adjourned without a stadium deal for the Vikings, team officials were meeting with representatives from AEG, the Los Angeles outfit that’s proposed Farmer’s Field in L.A.

    They were spotted at a downtown Minneapolis hotel. It wasn’t what you think, says Vikings vice president Lester Bagley.

    The meeting was with former Timbervolves VP, and now AEG CEO Tim Leiweke. His company runs the Target Center, as well as a host of other venues. The company developed LA Live, a 4 million square foot, $2.5 billion dollar downtown LA sports and entertainment complex.

    “The discussion about Los Angeles was about LA Live, that sports entertainment model that they created there,” Bagley said of the meeting. “We’re trying to re-create that type of energy at the Arden Hills development if we can.”

    Bagley said AEG might well be a candidate to do that in Arden Hills themselves — bringing LA to the Vikings, as it were, rather than the other way around.

    But AEG is also the developer behind Farmers Field, a proposed NFL venue in Los Angeles. The insurance company has reportedly offered $1 billion in naming fees if AEG can bring a pair of NFL teams to the stadium.

    Bagley said that the Vikings aren’t looking to sunnier climes, despite the lack of action on the deal the team struck with Ramsey County. He says he’s still confident Minnesota lawmakers will address the Vikings situation once the budget battle is settled.

    Please post the “whole” story. Man I can’t stand you always making nothing into something.

  6. skullraider says: May 26, 2011 7:49 PM

    There’s only 2 teams that can have success in Los Angeles.
    Raiders and Rams. Any other team will struggle.

  7. whitesheetz says: May 26, 2011 7:52 PM

    The Vikes ain’t goin’ anywhere

  8. thegreenviking says: May 26, 2011 7:53 PM

    Bagley responded that they were consulted about bringing an LA Live-like experience to Arden Hills. Believe what you will.

  9. contra74 says: May 26, 2011 7:55 PM

    If it happens then I just hope LA is more of a NFL city than it was back when the Raiders and Rams played. USC and UCLA football dominate in LA so hopefully and NFL team can come and share the limelight. Additionally, I PRAY that the leftover Raiders type fans in LA DO NOT think they can take up the Vikings and ruin both the image and game experience. Unfortunately the Dodgers let the gang element overtake their stadium so I can only hope that gang element does not do that same for any football team in LA.

  10. david7590 says: May 26, 2011 7:55 PM

    Say it with me folks, THE LOS ANGELES VIKINGS.

  11. packattack1967 says: May 26, 2011 7:55 PM

    Minnesota Vikings

    bawaahaaahaaaahaaa

  12. Scotty M says: May 26, 2011 7:58 PM

    Los Angeles is such a good NFL city- the NFL needs a team in LA.

  13. whags334 says: May 26, 2011 7:58 PM

    All you clones like to rip on Jacksonville. At least we built and kept up an NFL stadium for our team and our city council went as far as to wave our claim to any monies the city was due from the stadium naming rights to help keep the Jags in Jacksonville. That is why the Jags aren’t going anywhere: the city wants the team, the fans want the team, the state wants the team, and most important of all the owner wants the team in Jax. Feel sorry for the Vikings fans, how many shots has L.A. had at an NFL team and they will never support one.

  14. willycents says: May 26, 2011 7:58 PM

    whatsafairway says:May 26, 2011 7:41 PM

    I don’t know, this seems like a long name for an NFL team.

    Señores de las drogas de Los Ángeles
    ————————————————

    not a spanish speaker, but….I translate that to:

    “Men who dress in drag of Los Angeles”

    DEFINITELY not a good name for a football team :)

    Seriously, a smart man keeps all his options open.

  15. fooath says: May 26, 2011 7:58 PM

    Why don’t people learn their lesson about Charlie Walters?

    It’s down there in his “Don’t Print That” section, because everything he puts in that section is unsubstantiated garbage that isn’t fit to print. That’s where “McNabb to the Vikings” was printed. Along with plenty of other nonsense.

    The only thing worse is when he talks about a little birdy.

  16. dantejavier says: May 26, 2011 8:01 PM

    While I understand MN officials are dealing with budget state issues, it amazes me they are not prioritizing the stadium proposals. Yes, $1B seems steep, but momentum hasn’t been greater in recent years. You have an owner that has gone on record to contribute 400+M, a county partner and a financing solution. If the Vikes leave, which will be sad in itself, how are officials going to explain loss of Vikings related tax revenue (hotel, restaurants, merchandise, etc.), jobs, not including emotional loss of a departed team? Don’t they understand it’s a trickle down effect? MN folks – better get on the horn to your local congress rep if you value the Vikes. If I was Ziggy, I too would meet w/ a business partner who would build a stadium for my football team for free. Vikes to LA makes too much sense: no stadium costs, same Laker colors, marketable stars in Peterson, Harvin, Ponder, etc.

    Time to act is NOW MN residents.

  17. ccarter80 says: May 26, 2011 8:08 PM

    Nice job Minnesota – continue to live in denial. The Vikings are going to leave and rightly so — they play in the worst stadium in the league. Ownership has continually demonstrated its dedication to winning through the dollars it has spent on the team, despite having the worst revenue producing stadium in the league. The state’s failure to support a new stadium is a joke.

  18. p4hbiz says: May 26, 2011 8:09 PM

    I would take any team but the San Diego Chargers.

  19. ckacv111 says: May 26, 2011 8:10 PM

    Big deal. The players union meets with the NFL owners all the time… no deals/agreements are made then either

  20. schemefactory says: May 26, 2011 8:10 PM

    go vikings! go away forever, wherever!!

  21. johnnyb216 says: May 26, 2011 8:12 PM

    Uh oh! Tick tock tick tock!

  22. 504in860 says: May 26, 2011 8:14 PM

    They’re gone.

  23. cesquire says: May 26, 2011 8:17 PM

    @airraid77, I disagree. If the state of Minnesota was to buy the Vikings a stadium they would be using taxpayer money (many of which don’t watch football) to line the pockets of a billionaire for no other reason than the billionaire wants more money. That would be a sin.

    I the Vikings were publicly owned, this wouldn’t be an issue. The public doesn’t care how fancy the venue is, they want cheap tickets and accessibility.

    However, when you have an owner that holds the team ransom and says “pay up or you’ll never see your beloved Vikings again.” Sometimes giving in and committing the sin is better than the alternative. Ask Charles Lindbergh.

  24. wigwam101 says: May 26, 2011 8:17 PM

    I hate the Vikings, but if they move to L.A. the NFC North will be the real loser. Who would take their place in the division? The Cleveland Browns? I could live with that.

  25. packerblitz says: May 26, 2011 8:19 PM

    I’m a die hard Packers fan, and I really really hope this does not happen. I love the rivalry and its not fair to the Minnesota fans. Plus the twin cities is pretty much as close to me as Green Bay is. LA has had plenty of chances to have a team. Go get the Raiders, leave the NFC North alone.

  26. alewatcher says: May 26, 2011 8:24 PM

    Can you say “leverage”?

  27. vargafamily1 says: May 26, 2011 8:27 PM

    As a Packer fan I would have to say it would be terrible to see the Queens leave the North. Although we like to fight and bitch at each other, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  28. skoobyfl says: May 26, 2011 8:29 PM

    Who wants to have an outdoor stadium in MN ?? I mean it almost sounds insane to begin with, get with it people.

  29. shl4vikes says: May 26, 2011 8:33 PM

    WOOHOO, come on Vikes, LA loves you and wants you!!!
    Love,
    Arnold

  30. potviking says: May 26, 2011 8:34 PM

    They’re just talking to them to scare the state into getting the stadium done.

  31. calvikefan1 says: May 26, 2011 8:38 PM

    You people up there in Minny had better get your s–t together. I don’t even live in the state but I have e-mailed the governor pleading with him to get a stadium deal done. People that live there should be hounding your representatives, so what gives . To those that say the Vikings have no history one individual in particular- goombar or gumby whatever the hell you call yourself, the Vikings go back to 1961, no they havn’t won a Superbowl, neither have the Lions,Falcons,Bills,Cardinals,Chargers, Eagles,Browns, the list goes on.Yet the Vikings have 15 Hall of Famers, 26 playoff appearances, 18 Division Titles , 9 NFL/NFC Championship games , 4 Superbowl appearances. Thats more than any of those teams forementioned during that same time span, including the Saints and Bucs minus a Superbowl. I hate to see any team relocate especially one with such a great history and tradition. So get off your a$$ people or you’ll be spending your time ice fishing on Sunday’s

  32. football2011 says: May 26, 2011 8:39 PM

    The Vikings are legally obligated to play in the Metrodome in 2011 Iperformance clasue). However, after 2011 season they can leave with no repercusions.

  33. deconjonesbitchslap says: May 26, 2011 8:47 PM

    sha na na naaaaa. sha na na naaaaa…

  34. saints25 says: May 26, 2011 8:48 PM

    makes no sense!!! LA wont even support there professional Baseball Team…they dont deserve a NFL team!!!!!

  35. whatsafairway says: May 26, 2011 8:50 PM

    @willycents

    “not a spanish speaker, but….I translate that to:

    “Men who dress in drag of Los Angeles”

    DEFINITELY not a good name for a football team :)

    Seriously, a smart man keeps all his options open.”

    Well it says “Drug Lords of Los Angeles but hey, your translation is not bad! LOL

  36. hodag54501 says: May 26, 2011 8:54 PM

    While I think this is leverage, it also is a smart move in case the taxpayers decide against a publically-funded stadium.
    Even in old conservative Green Bay, the taxpayers(narrowly) passed a public funding measure. The Packers are non-profit which changes the equation, but the Tea-baggers have convinced many folks that all tax money spent is evil.
    Leaving the Twin Cities would be a net loss, a huge net loss, to taxpayers. Fans spend money like drunken sailors, providing a huge boost to the local economy and tax revenue through sales tax. Over 20 years that dwarfs the initial tax payer investment.
    I’m probably behind the curve on this, but why don’t the Vikings agree to upgrade the U-M stadium and play there? The college is a tax-funded institution and if the Governor ordered this to happen, the university administration would have little to say. The freakin’ stadium only gets used 8-10 times a year for college games, so why not extend the Vikings an invite? An upper deck and skyboxes would be less costly than building a new stadium plus it would be revenue for the university.
    But little do I care. The Packers are the champs, the stadium is getting expanded, life is good.

  37. cheeseguymn says: May 26, 2011 8:58 PM

    The Vikings are losing support in the State legislature. Article in the StarTrib talks about how the stadium will not be addressed in a special session and possibly not until after the elections in 2012, when the Vikes will be playing in LA.

    http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/122668614.html

  38. broncobourque says: May 26, 2011 9:01 PM

    @wigwam101

    IF the Vikings move to LA and the NFC West the league would simply put the Rams in the NFC North. Swap one midwest city for another and one LA franchise for another.

    As for the post, AEG is involved in the stadium/arena building business in more places than just LA. As others have noted, the original article even mentioned the fact that they were meeting to discuss AEG building the new stadium in Minnesota and not to discuss and move to LA. Although I would question why they are talking about turning Arden Hills into an “LA Live” type site and not St Paul where the Excel Energy centre is located and there is what looks like an empty lot right accross from it.

  39. dbellina says: May 26, 2011 9:09 PM

    I want to hear more about that WNBA team!

  40. bravin4evr says: May 26, 2011 9:25 PM

    I would like too see the Vikings stay put; but Minnesota just can’t do a stadium

  41. 13xworldchamps says: May 27, 2011 8:56 AM

    I know we as Packer and Viking fans have a lot of back and forth, but we Packer fans do enjoy our rivalry with the Vikings just as much as we do the Bears. All kidding aside you guys need to put some pressure on your politicians, look at what the Browns and colts fans had to go through.

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