Vikings co-owner Zygi Wilf says he’s confident in the direction of the franchise, and the people currently running the football operations, after his team’s 38-7 loss in the NFC Championship in Philadelphia.
Wilf said the Vikings are “at the top of the game” following a 13-win regular season, the franchise’s most since 1998, and a playoff win against the Saints, the Vikings’ first since 2009.
“We’ve been in the business 13 years,” Wilf told reporters Monday following the Super Bowl Host Committee press conference. “We have our ups and downs. Sure, it’s a couple days, but afterwards you look at the future and realize we’re at the top of the game. We’ll be knocking at the door many times. ”
Wilf doesn’t expect any major changes. The pairing of general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer have won two NFC North titles in the past three seasons.
“Just continue what we’re doing,” Wilf said. “Continue what we’re doing with the people we’re doing it with and we’ll get there.”
Vikings fans reported a handful of disturbing incidents, some of which aren’t uncommon across all NFL venues, at Lincoln Financial Field during the NFC title game. Wilf said Eagles fans should only expect “Minnesota nice” around Minneapolis.
“Being a former Giant fan, I’m familiar with being down in Philadelphia,” Wilf said. “Philadelphia is fighting for their first Super Bowl and it’s very exciting for them. The fans are very exuberant for their team wherever they are. I’m most proud of our Vikings fans because they really come out everywhere, wherever we go. I have to say the good part of our success is the fans coming out in support of us year after year, even after these tough losses. To see that passion really energizes me and our family and the team to do better things in the coming years.”
The Vikings organization has looked to take action to help fans who reported verbal or physical abuse in Philadelphia. That’s where the Vikings’ involvement will end, according to Wilf, who was asked about possibly lobbying to the NFL about the alleged abuse.
“I’ll leave it up to Philadelphia,” Wilf said. “It’s their venue.”
Here are some more comments from the Vikings owner:
On the Vikings pushing for an NFL Draft in Minneapolis: “Sure, absolutely. Absolutely. We’re going to be building a new facility [in Eagan, opened in March.] We’ll have a great place to do that. Or do it in the stadium. We have a lot of great places to do that, yes.”
The Vikings would most likely push for the NFL Draft to be held at U.S. Bank Stadium, not their new headquarters, according to a team official.
On showcasing U.S. Bank Stadium: “It’s great to show off our new stadium. A lot of people haven’t seen it. It’s a perfect venue for football. It’s an experience for everybody who’s in the stadium, wherever they are — upper deck, lower deck to be very close in to see the field, which is unusual in most other stadiums. You have a feeling of really being a part of the action. I think people will really get a feel for how great of a facility it is.”