New legislation seeks to switch Vikings ownership

Rep. Phyllis Kahn proposes community ownership model for the team.

Nick Sudheimer

Rep. Phyllis Kahn will introduce legislation Monday to move the Vikings to a community ownership model, allowing for the sale of stock in the team.

The ongoing debate for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium drove Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, to seek new alternatives for the team.

Football teams can be owned by more than a single individual. But current NFL rules prohibit any team other than the Green Bay Packers to have more than 30 owners.

KahnâÄôs legislation would require the governor and the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission âÄì the current owners of the Metrodome âÄì to work with the NFL to change current ownership rules.

The new form of ownership could generate funds for a new stadium through stock sales, according to the press release sent out Monday.

Initial reaction to the legislation has been generally positive on social media sites, and similar legislation introduced by Kahn has received bipartisan support.

Kahn also introduced community ownership legislation for the Minnesota Twins in 2005.  The bill had bipartisan support and made it to the floor in both the House and the Senate but ultimately failed to pass.

But Kahn said the Vikings legislation will likely just stimulate conversation.

âÄúThe legislation is very, very general. I really want the [experts] to work out the details of it,âÄù Kahn said. âÄúGovernor Dayton asked for all ideas to be put on the table and thatâÄôs exactly what IâÄôm doing here.âÄù

Current NFL rules require managing ownership to keep 30 percent of a team, which likely would stay with the Wilf family âÄì the current owner of the Vikings.

Although the legislation would diminish the WilfsâÄô ownership of the Vikings, it would still be a deal that is too good to pass up, Kahn said.

 âÄúTheyâÄôre being offered to free up 70 percent of the capital that they have in this team, and do everything that they do with the 70 percent with the 30 percent âÄì except relocate the team. Which Mr.Wilf has said he doesnâÄôt plan to do,âÄù Kahn said.