ST. PAUL — State Representative Phyllis Kahn (DFL – Minneapolis) will introduce legislation that would require the governor and Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC) to work with the NFL and move the Minnesota Vikings to a community ownership model, allowing the sale of stock in the team.
NFL ownership rules prohibit any team other than the Green Bay Packers from being owned by more than 30 owners. This legislation would require the governor and MSFC to work with the NFL to work within or potentially change current rules. The funds from the selling of stock in the community ownership could go toward a new stadium.
An initial draft of the bill can be found here.
Rep. Kahn offered community ownership legislation of the Minnesota Twins in 2005. That proposal would have allowed individuals to purchase stock in the team and obtain voting rights on relocation and retraction. That bill had bipartisan support, 34 authors in the House, and made it to the floor in both the House and the Senate.
NFL ownership rules also require managing ownership to retain 30 percent of a team, which presumably would stay with the Wilf family. The controlling owner needs to hold 10 percent, while other family members can hold the remaining 20 percent.
“Governor Dayton asked for all ideas to be put on the table and that’s exactly what I’m doing here,” said Rep. Kahn. “No single idea has gained enough traction to pass the legislature, so I decided to offer this as an additional proposal.”
“Why should the NFL stand between the Vikings and our community? Moving to community ownership would be a true market test to see if the Vikings are a community asset and gauge support for a new stadium. This proposal would allow the Wilfs to free up 70 percent of the team’s capital while retaining complete control. They should jump at such an opportunity. ”