Frequent contributor Jon Marthaler has written about virtually every sport in the Twin Cities, and fills in on Saturdays for the RandBall blog on StarTribune.com. He'll cover the professional soccer scene in the Twin Cities, whether at the Metrodome or at the National Sports Center.
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In a Q&A for Sunday's newspaper, the Star Tribune's Michael Rand spoke with Minnesota Vikings vice president Lester Bagley about the team's future with Major League Soccer, among other subjects.
Though the Vikings have long mentioned their interest in the league, Bagely's statement was the team's strongest yet on the subject of soccer. Here is the relevant passage from the Q&A:
Q: Major League Soccer: We’ve heard the Vikings and a group led by Minnesota United are both making cases for an expansion team. Where are efforts on that, and does the Super Bowl take resources away from it at all?
A: No, I think the Super Bowl proves we can get stuff done. One of the things we intend to get done is secure an MLS franchise. We’ve gone to [Seattle] and met with their ownership and front office. Same thing with Sporting KC, we’re going there next week. We’re continuing our discussions with franchises as well as Commissioner [Don] Garber.
Rand also reports that Bagley said the team is working with their stadium architect on a design concept that would reduce the soccer capacity of the new stadium to 20,000-30,000 seats. This would no doubt be similar to how Vancouver has BC Place set up for Whitecaps home games, with curtains simulating a roof over the lower deck that block the upper-deck stands from view.
The competition for MLS franchises across the country has grown fierce. With Minnesota United also interested in potentially making the move to MLS, the race for a franchise just within Minneapolis-St. Paul is heating up, as well.
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