You have to look at the timeline to understand the Vikings interest in starting a MLS team.
Zigy and his brother were interested in starting a MLS team when they proposed a full development retail/restaurant/sports teams package in Arden Hills. If that plan had go forward tey would have invested a lot more money then the money they will spend on just a football team's stadium.
Zigy's main business is real estate most of which are large malls which lease space to independently owned business. A big issue right now in renting retail space is: Why should I rent space in your mall? What is the current occupancy rate? How often do business turn over in that mall space?
If he had started his small village in Arden Hills then he would needed a draw bigger than a NFL team with only 10 home games. He was planning a very large space. That is where it would have made sense to start another sports team in his own stadium village. To increase the big draws to the retail and restaurant village all year long. That is why he then wanted to not pay rent, he knew it would not make enough money as a sport all alone. But, if you take away the rent he could afford to lose some money on the soccer and lacrosse teams if it kept the mall filled for a larger percentage of the days each year. That would be a huge selling point to why business should rent in his mall space.
You take away the mall and you take away the incentive to start any other sports teams for Zigy. This is why they are telling people it's on the back burner for now. The Minneapolis stadium ruined that deal. But one thing is still in place, Zigy gets five years of no rent for a new MLS team. That is another huge opportunity to start a soccer team, others don't have. He is a smart guy if the time and numbers changed from where they were then he might just see the light at the other end of the MLS tunnel.
Everything has now changed for Zigy, the NASL and MLS. As the American soccer market proves that it can grow quickly the potential is now completely different for everyone involved. The investment potential is now completely different than it was just a few years ago. Zigy may have only been thinking of how to fill his mall but now he must kinda see that there is something there over the long term.
Big factors in the last few years:
*Most all MLS teams now have new soccer specific stadiums, or are about to get them.
*Some D2/D3 teams have good stadiums and also have plans for new stadiums (Tampa had plans, San Antonio, Orland is talking about plans...).
*Consistently big crowds (over 50,000) for games in just about every market that has hosted a top world market team visiting America.
*67,000 people in DC came out to watch the US MNT play a friendly (a MLS market that currently only draws 16,000 fans for their home games), If the image of the MLS could improve then those 67,000 people could produce a good solid 30,000+ fans for DC United someday. Everybody wants it to happen there, but they are still waiting for it to happen.
*Huge TV Interest in the World Cup events for both the men's and woman's sport.
*Seattle and their ability to draw over 30,000 consistently to MLS games.
*Montreal and it's ability to get over 60,000 people to show up for its first few games (even if they gave those tickets away).
The very fact that we (as the world's largest sports market) have progressed to a stage in our sports development where our second devision may actually work and people with enough money to go into MLS have chosen to start in the NASL is a gigantic step forward.
"I think you’re going to see more investors who are interested in our sport from other parts of the world looking at Major League Soccer as an opportunity and as a model," Payne told a news conference on Tuesday. "The model is broken in some parts of the world, but there's a sensibility about the way we run our business at Major League Soccer that many investors from overseas find very appealing." -DC United's Kevin Payne
"I met with people in the Middle East," Payne revealed to MLSsoccer.com. "I flew to places like Dubai and met with people who have vast, vast amounts of personal wealth ... and they were very intrigued by the way we’re running our league and the sensible and sustainable way that we’ve approached it"http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/07/11/expect-more-foreign-investors-mls-says-dc-president
"The most important is how the major league structure how they manage the league" -Erick Thohir one of the new owners at DC United.
The greatest thing about sports is how things can change quickly, we have a term for it in sports psychology: An Epiphany!