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Vikings' owners share vision of new stadium

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Metrodome always felt like a rental property for Zygi and Mark Wilf, two New Jersey real estate developers who purchased the Minnesota Vikings in 2005 with the hopes of moving out of the place as quickly as possible.

Now the Wilf brothers will have a home of their own, hopefully by the 2016 season.

One day after winning their seven-year fight for a new stadium, the Vikings owners started to lay out their vision for the $975 million project they hope will serve as a recruiting tool for free agents for decades.

They appear to be leaning toward footing the bill for a retractable roof, which could help them bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Minnesota. They also see a stadium and plaza with cutting-edge technology and lots of open spaces for fans to congregate.

"We're going to try to get the maximum number of features within the budgets that we can to make this a facility that is going to be exciting to the fans," Mark Wilf said Friday. "We know it's a competitive landscape to attract our fans to the facility and we're going to want to make it something special. To the extent that (a retractable roof) can get there, we're going to try to do it."

The Vikings and the NFL are contributing $477 million toward the project, with $348 million coming from the state and $150 million from Minneapolis. If the Wilfs want a retractable roof, they will have to fork over even more money. State lawmakers put a provision in the bill that allows for a retractable roof, but the Vikings would have to pay the extra cost.

The price tag of such a feature isn't immediately known because the architects have yet to be hired, but Zygi Wilf has long been keen on the idea of an open-air stadium like his beloved New York Giants had in the Meadowlands when he was younger.


Around the league

*Junior Seau has been buried in his hometown of Oceanside, Calif., after a private funeral. Members of Seau's family and former teammates, were among those packing a church for the funeral, followed by burial at Eternal Hills cemetery. On Friday evening, up to 60,000 fans were expected at a public memorial service at Qualcomm Stadium.

*Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor needs surgery to repair a torn chest muscle and will be sidelined for months. Taylor tore his left pectoral muscle on Thursday lifting weights.

*The Houston Texans have signed veteran free agent quarterback John Beck, who spent the last two years with the Washington Redskins.

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