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VIKINGS FALLOUT, DAY II: IS IT SIMPLY RED?
Published October 30, 1997
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).