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).