Report: Vikings owner visits LA
Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf’s private plane touched down in Southern California on Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
Wilf’s reported visit came just days after a visit by NFL commissioner Goodell for talks with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
There are currently plans to build two stadiums in or near Los Angeles, with both projects awaiting a commitment from an NFL franchise before construction can begin.
Goodell met with Minnesota legislators on Friday. He previously had warned Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton there will be "serious consequences" if the state cannot pass a bill this year to finance the $975 million stadium for the Vikings in downtown Minneapolis.
Los Angeles has long been rumored as a possible destination for the Vikings if the state cannot help the team build a new stadium to replace the 30-year-old Metrodome.
Dayton and Wilf unveiled the plan for the new stadium March 1, but the proposal was dealt a major blow this week, when a Minnesota House committee voted down the use of nearly $400 million in state funds for the project.
Though Dayton said there will be no new taxes needed to fund the stadium, lawmakers are wary of committing to the spending in an election year. The governor is still hoping he can revive the bill this year, possibly in a special session after November’s elections.
Goodell’s trip to Minnesota is meant to ramp up the urgency on state leaders to revive the bill before the end of the current legislative session at the end of the month.
The Vikings have committed to playing in the Metrodome in 2012 even though the lease is expired.
The need for a new stadium became all the more evident in Dec. 2010 when part of the Metrodome’s roof collapsed under the weight of snow, though no one was inside at the time.