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Volume 26 No. 113
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PURPLE PRIDE: RED DEBUTS IN MN, WANTS TEAM "TO BE PROUD OF"

          New Vikings Owner Red McCombs met the MN press for the
     first time during a news conference yesterday, and while it
     "lacked the electricity and excitement generated" by Tom
     Clancy's "tour de force in February, a feeling of stability
     existed," according to Greg Johnson of the ST. PAUL PIONEER
     PRESS.  McCombs "again deflected talk" that he will move the
     Vikings to San Antonio, and said that some of his
     representatives "already have started discussions" with
     Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission officials about
     renegotiating the team's Metrodome lease.  McCombs: "I don't
     know what direction we will take (with the lease).  I am
     well aware that we are not in a competitive situation.  We
     have no deadlines, no threats or ultimatums.  We're buying
     this team at a very full price knowing there are no
     commitments to change anything in the lease."  McCombs, on
     the importance of the Vikings to the MN community: "[P]urple
     pride is very important to me.  We are going to do whatever
     we can to see that tradition carried on.  We want to provide
     a football team that this community can be proud of." 
     McCombs was joined at the press conference by Gary Woods,
     President of McCombs Enterprises (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS,
     7/8).  In MN, Bob Sansevere writes that McCombs said
     yesterday that Vikings President Roger Headrick "can play
     just about any role he wants to" with the team.  Sansevere:
     "If McCombs wants to win over Minnesotans, he needs to make
     a clean break from a regime that has alienated and angered
     Vikings fans for years."  Headrick said he had not spoken
     with McCombs (PIONEER PRESS, 7/8).  In Minneapolis, Dan
     Barreiro writes under the header "The Buck Will Stop With
     Red."  Barreiro: "McCombs will put a human face on this
     corporate blob of a franchise. ... He will give the fans
     somebody to curse and to celebrate" (STAR TRIBUNE, 7/8).