SBD/March 22, 2011/Facilities

Vikings Owner Wilf: Lockout Will Not Distract From New Stadium Effort

Wilf hasn't expressed a preference for a particular site for new Vikes stadium
Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf "doesn't think the NFL lockout will become another issue" that derails the team’s push for a new stadium, according to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Wilf, speaking from the NFL owners meetings in New Orleans, said, "We realize that it's an important asset to the community and that it's to everyone's interest to making sure that we get a stadium that would serve not just football but all the other events the Metrodome served proudly for the last 30 years.” It was the “first time Wilf has spoken publicly since Jan. 3.” The Vikings' lease at the Metrodome expires after the '11 season. While “work has started to replace the building's collapsed roof, the franchise has made it clear that in order to achieve financial success it needs to vacate” the building. There are “at least four possibilities believed to be in play for a stadium, including the current Metrodome site, and a long-awaited bill could be introduced this week.” Wilf “did not express a preference for a particular site,” and he does not “feel that not having a set site picked should stop a bill from being introduced.” But Zulgad writes there is “little doubt the lockout could cause legislators to question whether approving a stadium is a wise idea,” and “actual work, assuming a bill passes, might only begin once a new CBA is in place” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/22). ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert noted as of yesterday, “no stadium bill had been introduced in the 2011 session of the Minnesota state legislature.” But Wilf said, “I’m optimistic” (ESPN.com, 3/21).
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