A couple of weeks back, the Minnesota legislature voted in a stadium bill to keep the Vikings in Minnesota. The stadium project is expected to cost almost a billion dollars. Although it didn’t receive much attention outside soccer circles, the possibility of a soccer tenant at the new facility was the subject of much debate during negotiations for the bill. Multiple versions of a clause that provided for free rent or other opportunities were part of the discussion. For more on that provision, click here. The commitment of Vikings ownership to an MLS franchise is an open question, but if the Footiebusiness poll from last September is an indicator, there is plenty of fan interest!
Today we received a press release from a group called MLS4MN which describes itself as a “grass-roots coalition of supporters and businesses has formed seeking the advancement of professional soccer in Minnesota.” Minnesota has had a successful run in the lower leagues of professional soccer but will that translate to to MLS?
Here is MLS4N’s take on the new Vikings stadium legislation. ” The Vikings made soccer features key components of the recent stadium
legislation signed by the Governor, with the organization publicly considering a Major League Soccer (MLS) team… With the dynamic environment for soccer in Minnesota, the prospect of a top-tier MLS team is tempered by the possibility that the exclusive rights for bringing an MLS team to the state has created a lame duck situation for the Minnesota Stars. With the Stars currently searching for a new owner, the stadium bill will have driven away all other potential owners. As a result, the Vikings stadium bill may end up
killing professional soccer in Minnesota for at least the next decade.”
The situation in Minnesota bears watching. New York has long had the inside track on the 20th position in MLS. However, the formation of an active grassroots organization is a positive development. If this group can keep soccer on the radar and convince Vikings ownership that there is interest in the Twin Cities.
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