SBD/January 13, 2014/Facilities

MLS Facility Battle Shaping Up In Minneapolis Between Wilfs, NASL Team Owner

While the Wilf family, which owns the Vikings, has a "five-year exclusive right" to try to bring an MLS franchise to the team's new stadium, NASL Minnesota United FC Owner Bill McGuire is simultaneously "trying to build support for a separate soccer-only stadium in downtown Minneapolis," according to Mike Kaszuba of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. McGuire already is "getting help" from the Twins -- he has "eyed a site near the Twins’ Target Field -- and Twins president David St. Peter said he would 'never say never' to having Twins officials invest financially in McGuire's plans." Both the Vikings and McGuire "have sidestepped whether a competition is brewing between the two men" over an MLS franchise, but McGuire "has upped the ante" since '12 when he purchased United. The Vikings have said that with construction on the team's stadium underway, the Wilfs "will make bringing in a soccer team a higher priority and are 'very directly connected'" to top MLS execs. But McGuire also has "outlined plans for a 15,000- to 25,000-seat soccer stadium to be built near the Minneapolis Farmers Market, a project that will likely need public money." St. Peter last month attended the MLS Cup with McGuire and United President Nick Rogers, and Rogers also has suggested that United "play some of its upcoming games at Target Field." St. Peter said the Twins are currently only helping McGuire with "some level of counsel" regarding playing in a large outdoor stadium (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/12).
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