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NBA Owner To Aid Clancy on Vikings

May 14, 1998

HOUSTON (AP) _ Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander wants to help novelist Tom Clancy buy the NFL Minnesota Vikings.

The proposed deal includes a contingency for Alexander to acquire the team and move it to Houston should Clancy ever sell it. Alexander would prefer the NFL not return to Houston until after he gets a new arena for his basketball team.

Clancy heads a group of investors hoping to buy the Vikings for $200 million. But the writer’s messy divorce scheduled for a 1999 court date has clouded the purchase and the author may not be able to provide his $60 million stake.

Rockets spokeswoman Angela Blakeney said Thursday Alexander reached an agreement in principle this week with Clancy to become a limited partner in his investors group. Clancy would become managing partner.

NFL owners are scheduled to discuss the matter in Miami next week.

Clancy was out of town Thursday and could not immediately be reached for comment at his Maryland home.

Two unidentified sources told the Houston Chronicle and KRIV-TV that Alexander would spend $50 million to buy 25 percent of the Vikings. In return, he would have the first right to buy Clancy’s controlling 30 percent, which could free Alexander to move the Vikings to Houston.

Blakeney declined to comment on specifics of the pact.

Under Clancy’s proposal, a 30 percent stake would give him control of the team, with the other investors being limited partners. NFL rules require each franchise’s majority owner hold at least 30 percent.

Earlier this year, Alexander offered $82.5 million for the NHL’s financially troubled Edmonton Oilers, only to lose out to a group of local investors there.

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