Two L.A. groups approach Vikings
Two different groups interested in bringing an NFL team to Los Angeles have approached the Minnesota Vikings about possible relocation, Vikings vice president of public affairs Lester Bagley said in a chat on the team's website Tuesday.
"We have been approached by two different groups in Los Angeles -- the Ed Roski group and more recently by former Timberwolves CEO Tim Leiweke and AEG," Bagley said in the chat.
Bagley said team owner Zygi Wilf and Vikings management toured L.A. Live, an entertainment complex located in the city's downtown area, in 2009. According to Bagley, the group was looking for ideas on building a similar entertainment district in Minnesota.
The Vikings are in their final year of their lease at the Metrodome and have been pushing to get a new stadium approved.
The Minnesota Twins and the University of Minnesota football team have moved out of the outdated building into shiny new facilities of their own. Since 2002, the Vikings have been playing in the Metrodome rent-free, a gesture made to acknowledge the building's difficulty in producing revenue.
Bagley said the Vikings have told both interested groups that the organization is "focused on resolving the issue in Minnesota."
"We feel solid momentum and feel we're well-positioned with the new legislature and governor," he said in the chat. "Instead of spending energy speculating on other markets, let's keep the focus on building a world-class facility for the community and the state of Minnesota."
Both the Rams and the Raiders were once a part of the nation's second-biggest market in Los Angeles.
Speaking at a fundraiser for downtown Los Angeles in early October, Leiweke said he was still working on getting an NFL team to the area. Leiweke also said he's committed to working with city officials and AEG's Phillip Anshutz to make a downtown stadium a reality.
Magic Johnson appears to be on board with Leiweke. On Tuesday, Johnson announced on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" that he is partnering with AEG to bring an existing NFL team to Los Angeles.
Roski has permission to build an NFL stadium in Industry, Calif., about 15 miles outside of downtown Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, an attorney for the San Diego Chargers denied a report Tuesday by a Toronto radio station that Anschutz will buy 35 percent of Southern California's only NFL team.
The report immediately elevated speculation that the Chargers could be headed to Los Angeles.
The Chargers recently announced that owner Alex Spanos is looking to sell a minority stake to help with estate planning.
"There is no truth to the rumor out of Toronto that the Chargers have agreed to sell a portion of the team to Mr. Anschutz," Chargers attorney Mark Fabiani said in a statement late Tuesday night.
The report was on Fan 590.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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