Lockout shouldn't affect stadium prospects, Vikings' Wilf says

Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is optimistic that the NFL lockout won't hamper his team's push for a new stadium, Star Tribune reported Monday night.

Wilf spoke publicly Monday for the first time since Jan. 3, when the team promoted Leslie Frazier from interim coach.

"We're working very hard with everybody in Minnesota (at the Capitol) to get the stadium thing worked through," Wilf said. "We realize that it's an important asset to the community and that it's to everyone's interest to making sure that we get a stadium that would serve not just football but all the other events the Metrodome served proudly for the last 30 years.

"We're working hard to get that done, and I'm optimistic that it will get done."

The Vikings, whose lease at the Metrodome expires after the 2011 season, have wanted a new stadium for years because their revenue is among the lowest in the NFL. The team had to play its final two home games at alternate venues after the Metrodome's roof collapsed Dec. 12 in a blizzard. Repairs on the roof began last week.

At least four potential sites have emerged for a new stadium, and Wilf said not having settled on one yet shouldn't prevent a bill from being introduced in the Minnesota legislature this week.

"I think they can work concurrently," Wilf said. "I think that we all know what has to get done for a stadium to get done. (We) would have to work together with a site, and we want to make sure that both the site and the commitment from a partner, whoever that might be, works together so that we can accomplish this goal."

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