Viking fans are nervous enough about the stadium situation without stories like this emerging: Yesterday, team officials were spotted at a Minneapolis hotel meeting with representatives of AEG, a group that is trying to bring an NFL team to Los Angeles.
The Vikings have been connected with AEG in the past, though the sources in that case were a tad questionable. This time, the team is confirming that a meeting did indeed take place. But the meeting, assures stadium front man Lester Bagley, was not about moving the Vikings to Los Angeles.
So the AEG people were in Minneapolis enjoying a little spring weather? Doing some fishing? Checking out the Twins?
Not exactly. According to Bagley, the meeting was all about the Vikings’ Arden Hills site, and Zygi Wilf‘s big plans for that location. The AEG people, besides being behind a lot of the Vikings-to-Los Angeles talk, are also the group responsible for a recent $2.5 billion L.A. sports and entertainment complex. Bagley says the Vikings brought AEG in to pick their brains, since they know so much about building expensive sports facilities. In Bagley’s words, “The discussion about Los Angeles was about LA Live, that sports entertainment model that they created there. We’re trying to re-create that type of energy at the Arden Hills development if we can.”
And I’m sure AEG’s proposed L.A. stadium Farmer’s Field never came up during the discussion. Nor did the Vikings’ frustrations over the slow-moving stadium approval process. It was all about Arden Hills.
It’s possible Bagley is telling the whole truth, and AEG was only there to talk Zygiworld. But don’t blame worried Viking backers if they don’t quite buy it. When the words “Vikings” and “Los Angeles” appear together in a story, people are naturally going to get concerned.
And of course the Vikings themselves don’t mind occasionally dredging up all those L.A. rumors. That’s called giving the mule a little kick in the butt. This mule, unfortunately, looks more stubborn than most.