MPR Report on Plight of Minnesota Stars’ Quest for Ownership with the Possibility of a Vikings-Owned MLS Team Looming
Tim Nelson is a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio. He has been following the journey of professional soccer in Minnesota since his days with the Pioneer Press as a financial reporter. He was familiar with the Thunder owner Dean Johnson and his WingField corporation when they stepped in in the fall of 2007 to purchase the long-standing Minnesota Thunder.
Since moving to MPR, Nelson has continued to follow the plight of the Stars as they have looked for ownership since the National Sports Center, who founded the Stars in 2010, were not able to continue ownership with the new higher financial threshold for ownership of Division 2 pro teams set by U.S. Soccer.
Nelson files this report this morning exploring the issues that have made it harder to find an owner for the Stars since the Minnesota Vikings have started talking (vaguely) of bringing in an MLS team to the Twin Cities in the future, while providing very few details. In the report Nelson interviews Dave Laidig of the MLS for Minnesota coalition, Djorn Buchholz, CEO of the Minnesota Stars and Lester Bagley, Vice President of the Vikings in charge of Public Affairs. Bagley says the Vikings are 3 to 4 years away from even making a serious decision on whether they will bring an MLS franchise into Minnesota, saying the issue is on the “back burner.”
In the meantime, the Stars are presenting to Minnesota fans one of the best pro soccer teams in recent memory. Without an owner, that could be gone. And if the Vikings decide not to purchase an MLS franchise 3 or 4 years down the line, Minnesota could be a barren landscape for pro soccer. That would be a shame after having a pro soccer team here at the D2 level for 23 consecutive years.