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  1. #1

    Wilfy working hard for a New stadium ....

    He was in Seattle today working hard, doing his research for a new stadium.

    Here's the link:

  2. Re: Wilfy working hard for a New stadium ....

    this is awesome, you can ask for much more of an owner, i really like the seahawks stadium and if wilf says our new one could be better that stadium would be unbelievable, zygi is the man

  3. #3

    Re: Wilfy working hard for a New stadium ....

    "natethegreat" wrote:
    this is awesome, you can ask for much more of an owner, i really like the seahawks stadium and if wilf says our new one could be better that stadium would be unbelievable, zygi is the man
    This is true, I was a Zygi doubter initially, but I love what he's done since he's taken over....Zygi is, in fact, Da Man!


  4. #4

    Re: Wilfy working hard for a New stadium ....

    Awesome! Ziggy is da man!

  5. Re: Wilfy working hard for a New stadium ....

    Ziggy is the biggest pimp ever. The Vikings aint going nowhere EVER.

  6. #6

    Re: Wilfy working hard for a New stadium ....

    [size=18px]Vikings: Saying No Way to the Cleveland Way[/size]

    Mark Craig, Star Tribune
    Last update: November 26, 2005 at 8:31 PM

    Art Modell laughed softly at the irony of the question. After all, who was he to offer advice to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, or any other owner trying to resolve a poor stadium situation?

    “I’m hardly the one to talk to, given my history,� Modell, the former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens owner, said by phone this week. “Given the fact that I loved Cleveland, lived there for 35 years, was president of the Cleveland Clinic. My wife [Pat] was involved in every charity known to man. My kids went to school there. …

    “And yet I still had to move my team to Baltimore. Nobody in their right mind should believe I wanted to leave Cleveland. I had no other choice. �

    On the field, only one game separates the Vikings (5-5) and Browns (4-6), who were reincarnated as an expansion team in 1999 after lying dormant from 1996 to ’98. Off the field, the gap between Modell’s desperate final days in Cleveland in 1995 and Wilf’s determined start here in 2005 is enormous.

    The irony, of course, is Modell was an insider who abandoned his community, while Wilf, a New Jersey real estate developer, is an outsider who states unequivocally that he will not move or sell the Vikings.

    “My motivating factor is to win championships, not to find the best venue that could make me the most money,� Wilf said. “That’s not an overriding factor. The Twin Cities area is a dynamic growing community. The potential here is great.�

    Kicker Matt Stover, the last of the original Browns to play 10 seasons as a Baltimore Raven, remembers hearing rumors the Browns might move.

    “We knew Art was getting beat up pretty good by the politicians,� Stover said. “But I never gave the rumors a second thought. It was like, 'The Cleveland Browns are going to move? Yeah, right.’ �

    Few people outside Modell’s circle of advisors knew of his dire financial straits. Modell lost the Indians as primary tenant for Cleveland Stadium, which he maintained for the city at his own expense, and was overspending in the early years of NFL free agency.

    “When Art signed Andre Rison before the 1995 season, Andre wanted all of his $5 million signing bonus up front,� said Kevin Byrne, senior vice president of public relations in Cleveland and now Baltimore. “Art didn’t have it. So he went to the bank and they said no. Then he went to a second bank, a third bank and a fourth bank. They all said, 'No, your debt is too great.’ Finally, the fifth bank said yes.

    “For those of us internally, that’s when we knew something was wrong.�

    Modell never told fans that if he didn’t get immediate financial help he would have to accept Baltimore’s offer of a new stadium, which was wrapped neatly and presented by Maryland politicians as Modell’s perfect financial parachute. Not going public is something for which Browns fans will never forgive Modell.

    “You’re damn right I never went public,� Modell said. “I had promises that were made to me by city hall, county commissioners. And they did not deliver on their promises. It was a primary act of betrayal. And they have the nerve to run around saying I didn’t treat them well.

    “Because I was on the verge of bankruptcy, I was not going to use my situation to blackmail the steelworker in Youngstown [Ohio] to get a new stadium. That was not the game I wanted to play.�


    Wilf is frustrated by a lack of dialogue with the state on the joint stadium proposal with Anoka County. But he sees no parallel between his situation and Modell’s 10 years ago.

    The biggest difference is the financial strength of the Vikings’ ownership group, which includes Wilf’s longtime business partners Alan Landis and David Mandelbaum.

    While Modell had to borrow all but $125,000 to buy the Browns for $4 million in 1961, Wilf’s group bought the Vikings for $600 million and had to prove to the league that it also has the means to sustain the team in the Metrodome.

    Wilf is offering to spend $280 million toward a $675 million stadium to be built in Anoka County. The agreement with Anoka County commissioners calls for the county to contribute $280 million through a three-fourths of a percent county-wide sales tax and the state to chip in $115 million.

    The Vikings and Anoka County are asking the state for an exemption to the law requiring a referendum to approve the sales tax. The state has not responded.

    The Vikings’ lease at the Metrodome expires in 2011. The Twins, who also are asking for a new stadium, are without a lease as talks of contraction loom again in 2006.

    The Twins have a deal with Hennepin County and also are asking for a referendum exemption. Many believe the Vikings should wait their turn behind the Twins. Wilf doesn’t understand why, since both teams already have similar agreements with their respective counties.

    “How can the governor, if he’s going to consider the Twins, not consider us?� Wilf said. “There’s no difference. We’re asking for them to endorse what the county [government] voted on. Our county voted on it two years ago. The Twins have only done this the last six months.

    “I’ve always been a proponent of [stadiums for the] Gophers, Twins and Vikings. … Everyone says wait. Wait for what? We’re asking for the same thing. That’s where the frustration comes. I just don’t understand this.� On the other side of the stadium issue, Ron Holch, head of the Taxpayers Against an Anoka County Vikings Stadium, doesn’t understand why “the richest men on the planet can take away our resources for their fun.�

    Holch said the law requiring a referendum was put in for a reason, “and this is the perfect example.� His group does not accept the argument that stadiums generate enough jobs and tax base to offset the cost of construction.

    “I don’t want the Vikings to leave, but at the same time I want good school systems, good roads, safety, police and firemen,� Holch said. “We don’t have that right now. So why should we just give our money to a billionaire? Let’s all vote on it.�


    Modell claims he was assured the Browns would be taken care of after Cleveland built new stadiums for the Indians and Cavaliers using a county-wide “sin tax� on sales of alcohol and tobacco. The city not only built those stadiums, it also built the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a science center.

    As time approached to take care of the Browns, the political landscape in Cleveland changed. Mayor George Voinovich became Ohio’s governor and Mike White became mayor of Cleveland.

    “The primary reason I was going bankrupt is because I had spent $80 million to repair Cleveland Stadium to prevent Cleveland from losing the Indians,� said Modell, who was asking for a refurbished Cleveland Stadium for the Browns. “I never would have left Cleveland if I had received parity with the Indians and Cavs.�

    In Cleveland’s defense, Modell still had three years left on his lease when he accepted Baltimore’s offer. Fortunately for the city, the miscalculation by Modell’s closest confidants that the lease wasn’t binding is the only reason Cleveland got a new team.

    The lease gave Cleveland leverage to sue Modell and strike a settlement in February of 1996, allowing Modell to move to Baltimore while leaving behind the Browns’ heritage for another team to be determined. Cleveland would have to build a new stadium.

    “They didn’t have the money when I was there,� Modell said, “but they sure found that money when I left.�

    On Sept. 8, 1998, about 11 months before they would have to play their first preseason game, the expansion Browns were awarded to Al Lerner, Modell’s former minority partner, and former 49ers executive Carmen Policy.

    Ten years later, the Browns are still reeling from the rush to assemble a front office, coaching staff and roster of players. They are 34-72 since 1999 and are in Year 1 of their third regime and major rebuilding project in six years. They have one playoff game, a 36-33 loss at Pittsburgh in January 2003.


    Modell’s decision to move at the end of the 1995 season was leaked to a Baltimore TV station on Nov. 3.

    The Browns, at 4-4, were preparing for a home game against the Houston Oilers two days later. Modell called a team meeting, knowing he would have to confirm those reports later that night to the Cleveland media.

    “Art was very professional about it,� Stover said. “When he said, 'We’re moving to Baltimore,’ you could have heard a pin drop. My jaw dropped.�

    Instantly, the Browns lost all sponsors. Fans remained supportive of the players, but were enraged by Modell as the home schedule played out in a tired old stadium in which every inch of advertising was blacked out. Modell did not attend games, fearing for his safety.

    The Browns lost seven of their final eight. The only victory came against Cincinnati in the final game at old Cleveland Stadium. Bawling fans said goodbye to their team, not knowing if they would ever see another NFL game in Cleveland.


    Wilf admits his decision to announce he will never move or sell the team might be hurting his chances of getting a stadium.

    “From a pure standpoint of strategy, it probably did hurt,� Wilf said. “But I’m not a politician. This is how I’ve always felt about it. ... It’s just not something that I would use as an arsenal. I just would hope that the state would see to it that they have a responsibility to the team and the community that I do.�

    Wilf said if anyone is waiting for him to pay for the entire stadium project, “it won’t be happening. We have a partner that is willing to throw in $280 million, the county of Anoka.�

    Former Vikings owner Red McCombs often used the threat of moving to Los Angeles, where the NFL is committed to returning one day. Once, when asked about his lease here, McCombs said, “See you in court.�

    Wilf is not interested in Los Angeles, saying he is focused only on developing a partnership with the state of Minnesota.

    “As much as people like to think that a team like the Vikings or a team like the Browns is a privately-held company and therefore not a responsibility of the community, it is a responsibility of the community,� Wilf said. “It’s a responsibility of the owner to respect that his obligation with the team is just not to make money, but to grow with the community. ... As much of a responsibility as I have in that role, it has to be shared with the government.�

    Wilf said he worries that state politics will cause the Twins to move or be contracted and keep the Vikings in one of the NFL’s worst stadiums.

    “Why has it become an issue of referendum or not?� Wilf said. “Why isn’t it an issue of making Minnesota proud of their respect for their teams?

    “The market here is unbelievable. And yet we don’t even have a home. We have a home in the Metrodome, but to be quite honest with you, in terms of the age and the feeling of how football should be played, I’m not happy with it.�

    The difference, however, between Wilf’s frustration and Modell’s desperation 10 years ago is as distinct as orange and purple.

    The difference, Wilf said, is, “I’m not going anywhere.�

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  7. Re: Wilfy working hard for a New stadium ....

    “How can the governor, if he’s going to consider the Twins, not consider us?� Wilf said. “There’s no difference. We’re asking for them to endorse what the county [government] voted on. Our county voted on it two years ago. The Twins have only done this the last six months.
    Just do it for darn sakes.

    “I don’t want the Vikings to leave, but at the same time I want good school systems, good roads, safety, police and firemen,� Holch said. “We don’t have that right now. So why should we just give our money to a billionaire? Let’s all vote on it.�
    People just don't see the long term financial benefit.

    If we built a dome that is climate controlled, a Super Bowl would be in the mix within 5-8 years. This will generate a viking ship-boat load of money to the state and cities.

    The KC community plans on spending 300 million to put a roof on and renovate the Arrowhead stadium, to generate 400 million for the community.

    The Chiefs, and other backers of stadium renovations, hope the prospect of landing an event with an estimated $400 million economic impact will provide enough reason to vote "yes" this time.

    "The tremendous benefit to Kansas City, both in economic terms and prestige, are beyond calculation," Mayor Kay Barnes said in a written statement.
    Owners Reason to have a team, this is why Zigy wants to win: Article from 2003, see how winning a SB helped the Bucs win financially.

    Forbes calculations, the Bucs' value increased by 11%, to $671 million, last year. That's not quite the pop afforded to either the Detroit Red Wings hockey team (up 18%, to $266 million) or the Los Angeles Lakers basketball squad (up 28%, to $360 million) after their championships in 2002 and 1998, respectively. Still, for most owners, the bottom line on the Super Bowl is: Forget the bottom line. "If it's going to cost you a couple of million to win, who cares?" says Salvatore Galatioto, managing director of sports finance at Lehman Brothers. "You want to be in the Super Bowl."

  8. Re: Wilfy working hard for a New stadium ....

    as much as I love Minnesota and cant wait to move back there. I have to agree with Wilf on his fursturations dealing with all this. For years I have been banging my head agianst the wall everytime I hear talk about the new stadium. I have to agree if you look long term a stadium would be nothing but beneficial to everyone in the state! I wish the govt would stop opposing the whole new stadium deal so much

    "I choose my company by the beating of their hearts, not the swelling of their heads"

  9. Re: Wilfy working hard for a New stadium ....

    we are in desperate need of a new stadium

    but will this take away from social programs and needs in the area if this is approved?

  10. #10

    Re: Wilfy working hard for a New stadium ....

    From my understanding it would take $115MM from the state gov't ... from what I can see, that is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of revenue the stadium would bring in ... but, there I go again making sense.

    Sounds like to me, it's just a big pissing war with the politicians trying to flex their muscle again ... so to this point, I'm over it. Either they can be proactive and get this thing going now or loose this team in 2011. Shoot, let them move down here to Orlando ... Then I could go to some home games and you guys/gals can stay at my place the night before the games when ya come down and you know you would..... :lol:

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