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Will the NFL's Minnesota Vikings move to Birmingham?

February 17, 1979
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Mike Lynn, general manager of the National Football League's Minnesota Vikings, announces they are seriously considering moving from Minneapolis. Lynn named Birmingham, Los Angeles, and Phoenix as potential sites for the relocation.

Max Winter, controlling owner of the Vikings, said he will move the team if a domed stadium isn't built. Two years ago, the legislature passed a bill providing a new facility for them, based on a 2% tax on liquor sales. However, the legislature is currently trying to repeal the bill. The Vikings lease of Metropolitan Stadium expires at the end of the 1979 season. "After that date, we have no legal obligations, whatsoever, to say here," Lynn said.

On Birmingham's position, Lynn said, "Personally, I haven't been in touch with anybody from Birmingham. However, in talking with Mr. Winter the other day from his home in Hawaii, he did say he had talked with somebody from Birmingham."

A. E. "Pee Wee" Burgess, one of the main investors in the World Football League's Birmingham Americans and Birmingham Vulcans, insists they aren't as serious as they claim. "They are just rattling their sabers. They're just mentioning us - along with those other cities - in hopes people up there will give them what they want. They're not moving here - or anywhere else. And besides, they can't without the approval of the NFL. And they won't get that - you can be sure of that."

In 1981, the Minnesota Vikings moved into their new home, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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Last update: August 16, 2018