Reggie Fowler, who attempted to buy the Vikings in 2005 before settling in as a limited partner, no longer has a stake in the team.
Fowler’s name was taken off a list of the team’s ownership group on the team’s website, and Vikings executive director for communications Jeff Anderson confirmed the change.
Fowler, 54, experienced financial difficulties in Arizona last year when he lost control of all his companies amid a debt of nearly $60 million.
An unknown in NFL circles, he tried to buy the Vikings from Red McCombs in 2005, but couldn’t pull off the $600 million sale because he didn’t have enough liquid capital. Fowler brought in partners, and Zygi Wilf took over as the majority investor in the group. Fowler would have been the NFL’s first black owner.
On Feb. 14, 2005, Fowler and McCombs held a news conference to announce the sale of the team to Fowler’s group, which included Wilf, Alan Landis and David Mandelbaum as limited partners.
Shortly after, however, Fowler missed a deadline to report on the sale at an NFL owners meeting. The sale of the team was in danger when Zygi Wilf stepped up to take over as majority owner before a summer deadline that would have voided the sale. Zygi Wilf’s brother, Mark, and his cousin, Leonard Wilf, are now part of the ownership group.
Zygi Wilf is the team’s owner/chairman; Mark Wilf is the owner/president; and Leonard Wilf is listed as owner/vice chairman. Landis, like the Wilfs a land developer, and Mandelbaum, an attorney, are listed as ownership partners. Fowler’s lawyer at the time of the sale, Kevin Warren, is now the Vikings executive vice president for legal affairs.
In 2009, it was reported that Fowler claimed no taxable income for 2005, the year he tried to buy the Vikings. Fowler, at the time of the sale, said he had assets of more than $400 million.
Fowler’s Arizona holding company, Spiral Inc., held more than 100 businesses, though many were dormant or were created for deals that never materialized, the Arizona Republic reported.
Fowler played college football at Wyoming, but on his biography when he attempted to buy the Vikings he also claimed to have played in the Little League World Series, which turned out to be false. He also asserted he played professional football in the U.S. and Canada and to have gotten a business degree from Wyoming; those claims were also disproved.