The Vikings have been approached by two different groups in Los Angeles that are looking for an NFL team to relocate to the city, according to Vikings vice president of public affairs Lester Bagley.
Bagley revealed this information on Tuesday during a chat he conducted on the Vikings website that focused on the team's attempt to get a new stadium approved during the 2011 legislative session.
"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 wrote in response to a question. "In 2009 when the NFL had an owners' meeting in southern California, Mr. Wilf and Vikings management toured LA Live to try to get ideas on building a similar sports/entertainment district in Minnesota.
"Clearly, the Vikings stadium issue is being followed nationally and it's no secret that we're down to the last year on our lease. We've told those groups that we are focused on resolving the issue in Minnesota. We feel solid momentum and feel we're well-positioned with the new legislature and governor. 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."
While the Vikings have long said their desire is to build a stadium on the site of the Metrodome, Bagley said the team is "completing our due diligence on a number of potential stadium sites," including "some in Minneapolis and one suburban site."
Wrote Bagley: "No conclusions have been reached and we're working to bring forward a package with a single site as soon as our work is completed and as soon as the new legislature and the new governor are ready." If a new stadium is approved, the Vikings are prepared to sign a lease that requires the team to play its games in that facility until 2045.
Finally, the Vikings made their first comments (that I can recall) on the soon-to-expire collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the league's players association. The CBA expires on March 4 and there could be a lockout at that point if a new agreement isn't in place.
"We are confident that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement will be reached," Bagley wrote. "The NFL has experienced labor peace since 1987 - longer than any other professional sport. The CBA negotiation is a short-term matter, while we are seeking a long-term solution to build a publicly owned facility that will benefit Minnesota for the next several decades. Let's not delay the work that needs to be done, as the CBA issue will be resolved."