SBD/30/Franchises

VIKINGS FALLOUT, DAY II: IS IT SIMPLY RED?

          Details "began to emerge" yesterday about potential
     buyers for the Vikings, but "questions still remain" about
     why the team's possible sale was kept secret for months,
     according to Don Banks of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. 
     Banks adds that "discontent" among the team's owners "is
     prevalent," as they have voted to sell the team "several
     times in the past few months, only to repeatedly postpone
     their decision to go public with the news."  The league has
     asked that the team comply with rules requiring one owner to
     control 30%, however, Banks writes they have been "unable to
     come up with" a 30% owner among themselves.  One source
     said, "Three or four guys who can afford to own 30 percent
     don't want to ... and the ones that might be interested
     don't have the financial backing."  Vikings President Roger
     Headrick said the Board's "intention and hope is that this
     potential sale can be effected locally so that the team
     remains" in MN.  Although Board Chair John Skoglund said
     that "no leading local buyer is known," he "mentioned
     rumors" of T-Wolves Owner Glen Taylor's interest, and Banks
     adds that former Vikings GM Mike Lynn "repeatedly has made
     it known" that he may put an ownership group together. 
     Meanwhile, three of the four out-of-state prospective buyers
     were identified yesterday: Former Spurs/Nuggets Owner Red
     McCombs, Toronto's Sun Media CEO Paul Godfrey and Dr. Larry
     Lemak of Birmingham.  Birmingham's HealthSouth CEO Richard
     Scrushy is also "part" of Lemak's group.  The fourth group,
     from L.A., "has not been identified" (STAR TRIBUNE, 10/30). 
          NOTE: In St. Paul, Bob Sansevere reports that McCombs,
     who owns Twin Cities TV station WFTC, has a "standing offer"
     of $150M to buy the team and "keep them" in MN.  McCombs
     said he would buy the team "as is," without improvements to
     the Metrodome lease.  He said he made his offer six weeks
     ago and was rejected with the understanding that talks could
     resume at a later date (PIONEER PRESS, 10/30).

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