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Continued: Hartman: Wilfs have several ties to California

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 3, 2012 - 10:59 PM

Looking back to Red McCombs' purchase of the Vikings in 1998, had the group of 10 local stockholders who owned the team at the time kept their word and allowed Glen Taylor to match the price of any other buyer, the threat of the team moving would not be the concern it is today.

I'm sure this fact will be denied by some of those 10 former owners, but at the time, I know that Taylor was talking to friends about investing in the Vikings like they had done with him and the Timberwolves.

And Taylor, who at the time was upset by the actions of the Vikings board, doesn't like to talk about what happened.

Now the Vikings are owned by the Wilfs, who have no real serious connections in this area and don't have a personal stake in any Twin Cities businesses, but do have millions of dollars of real estate property in Southern California. And as residents of New Jersey, they don't have to be concerned about the problems the Pohlad family would have faced had the Pohlads allowed for the Twins to move or disband.

As I reported earlier, removing Jacksonville as a candidate to move to Los Angeles has made the Vikings a real candidate to move.

And as I reported earlier, the Jaguars, who play at a stadium initially funded to house the Gator Bowl, one that was soon remodeled when the city of Jacksonville was granted an NFL expansion team, can't move.

Wayne Weaver recently sold the Jaguars for $760 million to Shahid Khan, and because of Weaver's loyalty to the area, he insisted that the sale include a clause that kept the team from moving.

So if the Jaguars have a value of $760 million in a TV market ranked 50th in the nation, rest assured the Vikings, who play in the 15th-largest TV market, must have a value of at least $1 billion.

The Vikings recently made a call from its stockholders for $20 million, and while the Wilf family has never said no to the football executives to spend money to attract a great player such as Jared Allen, I have to believe there was a reason why the club signed only one top free agent this year in John Carlson for $5 million per season.

In the NFL, there's revenue sharing, and the Vikings get one of the biggest shares of any team. Owners of teams such as the Cowboys, Redskins and Broncos, unhappy with contributing a lot of money to the pot, have been trying to eliminate revenue sharing. And if the Vikings moved to Los Angeles, certainly those other teams would have to contribute less because the Vikings would be contributing to the pot instead of taking from it.

L.A. stadiums available

Although the odds are that the Vikings wouldn't move this year if they didn't get a favorable stadium vote, they could move to L.A. at any time because the Rose Bowl and the Los Angeles Coliseum are all available to be used until a new stadium is built.

I was involved when the Minneapolis Lakers were sold to Bob Short and later moved to Los Angeles because the Lakers didn't have a decent arena to stage the playoffs at the Minneapolis Auditorium, because the Builders Show, the Sportsman Show and other such events had first call at playoff time. The Lakers had to play the playoffs in the Armory or the old St. Paul Auditorium.

We lost the North Stars because of an inadequate building in the Met Center, and because the local politicians wouldn't do anything to correct that.

And Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner, original owners of the Timberwolves, had sold the team in 1994 to New Orleans' Top Rank Group, but thanks to NBA Commissioner David Stern, the team wasn't allowed to move. Taylor bought the team and never talked of moving, even though the Wolves have lost millions.

There isn't one member of the Legislature, who, if they owned the Vikings and were offered a huge profit to sell to someone who would move the team, wouldn't make the deal.

And what is hard to understand is why the geniuses over in St. Paul don't realize that the Vikings would use the stadium only 10 to 12 times a year, while the building could also attract Final Fours, Super Bowls and be used even more than the Metrodome.

I know how frustrated the members of the Wilf family are because the Twins and Gophers got stadiums while they have been left in the cold.

And history will repeat here the way the NFL played out in Baltimore and Cleveland. Those same members of the Legislature who refused to build a stadium to keep the Vikings here will spend twice the money to get another team and build a new stadium once they are gone.

Jottings

• Former Gophers wrestler Brock Lesnar has returned to the World Wrestling Entertainment. He has been dealing with serious health issues due to diverticulitis since 2009 and had to have surgery in 2011. Lesnar retired from mixed martial arts after losing at UFC 141 in December. In his return to the WWE, Lesnar lost to champion John Cena on Sunday.

Jimmy Gjere, the highly recruited Irondale offensive lineman who started the Gophers' first five games last year and then missed the rest of the season because of injury, missed spring practice, and there is some question whether the 6-7, 325-pounder will be able to play this fall.

• Defensive back Tramaine Brock, who signed with Tim Brewster and started 13 games for the Gophers before transferring to Belhaven, has re-signed with the San Francisco 49ers. He had two interceptions in the first two games of the 2011 season but then didn't record any defensive statistics again until Week 17.

• In the American Hockey League, former Gophers forward Taylor Matson had one assist in five playoff games for Chicago, which lost its best-of-five series 3-2 to San Antonio. Gabe Guentzel, son of Gophers assistant Mike, had one assist for Syracuse, which lost to St. John's in four games. Former Gophers winger Ryan Potulny tied for the Hershey lead in scoring with two goals and two assists, but his team lost to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in five games. ... Casey Wellman, traded from the Wild to the New York Rangers for Erik Christensen in February, is tied for the Connecticut lead in postseason points with one goal and four assists in four playoff games, all victories.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

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Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 FINAL
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
FIU 53 FINAL
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
UCLA 56 FINAL
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
UAB 47 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 71 FINAL
Mercer 77
San Jose St 56 FINAL
Washington 78
Washington St 19 2nd Half 15:55
UC Santa Barbara 41
Baylor 69 2nd Half 1:35
Memphis 47
LSU 23 FINAL
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
BYU 73 FINAL
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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