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Vikings 'stepping up' efforts to land Major League Soccer team

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The new Minnesota Vikings multipurpose stadium could eventually house a Major League Soccer team.

Vikings' Vice President of Public Affairs Lester Bagley told the Pioneer Press that the team is discussing the possibility of bringing a professional soccer team to the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

"We've been stepping up our conversations with the MLS," said Bagley, who on Tuesday spoke with the media following a luncheon hosted by the Minnesota Association for Corporate Growth.

Sports Illustrated reported last week that Minneapolis is considered a frontrunner to land a team. MLS is focused on expanding its league to 24 teams by 2020, with a goal to become one of the premiere soccer leagues in the world. Were the Vikings to add a soccer team, they would likely share the new stadium with it. MLS teams in Seattle, New England and Vancouver share stadiums with NFL teams, and Atlanta's new stadium could be home to an MLS team, too.

But the Vikings have competition in the market. Twins owner Jim Pohlad and Bill McGuire, owner of the Minnesota United FC minor league soccer team, recently confirmed interest in investing in a team. Sports Illustrated noted that MLS officials have spent more time over the past several weeks talking with Pohlad and McGuire than the Vikings.

Owned by investor Jim Pohlad, the Twins are part of a consortium called 2020 Partners aiming to spur development in the area around Target Field, Target Center (the NBA arena) and the Minneapolis Farmers Market. It certainly wouldn’t be cheap to build there, but Pohlad’s resources and relationships might make the difference for McGuire and United. Twins ownership has been interested in MLS for a while, a source told SI.com.

If Minneapolis does get an MLS team, it will likely be the 24th and final addition to the league.

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