WHAT ABOUT US? VIKES AND TWINS WANT BETTER DEALS
As a result of a "state-backed" $15M effort to help bring an
NHL franchise to MN, the Vikings and the Twins are left asking,
"What about us?," writes Jay Weiner in the Minneapolis STAR-
TRIBUNE. Due to the fact that the Vikings have 17 years left on
their Metrodome lease, Weiner reports the Twins will likely be
the next focus of attention as they are the "next pro sports
crisis on the horizon" with their lease expiring after '98.
Weiner: "Simply put, the Twins and Vikings want to squeeze more
money out of the Dome and out of the [Metropolitan Sports
Facilities] commission." Twins President Jerry Bell is aware of
his position and is looking closely at a bill before the
Legislature that calls for the use of income tax revenues to pay
off bonds that could be used to purchase the Jets. Bell: "I
don't have anything too specific in mind now, but I intend to
have something in the near future." Weiner notes studies by the
NFL show the Vikings have the second-highest tax bill and the
sixth-highest rent in the league. Also, in addition to having
the "poorest concessions deal" in the NFC Central, the Vikings
were 27th out of 28 NFL teams last season in revenues gained from
net ticket sales. Vikings President Roger Headrick said about
the team's Metrodome lease, "A deal's a deal," but also said he
has had "15 to 20" meetings with MSFC leaders without one
"voluntary offering" of help from MSFC Chair Henry Savelkoul.
Denying his statement is a threat to move the team, Headrick
stated, "You know, the Rams had a deal in Los Angeles and St.
Louis paid it off. There is an opening in Los Angeles right now
for an NFC team" (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 6/14).