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Author Tom Clancy Buys Vikings

February 3, 1998

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Novelist Tom Clancy, already a minority owner of the Baltimore Orioles, will be the new lead owner of the Minnesota Vikings.

The purchase price will be about $200 million, current co-owner James Jundt said today.

Clancy’s bid involves other investors. He would not identify them, but confirmed he had the largest share and would meet the NFL mandate that each team have one owner with at least a 30 percent share.

The author of such military thrillers as ``The Hunt for Red October,″ ``Patriot Games″ and ``Clear and Present Danger,″ Clancy was 27th last year on Forbes magazine’s list of the highest-paid entertainers. His gross income for 1996-1997 was estimated at $50 million.

Clancy, a Baltimore native whose love of football began as a boy when he attended the same church as quarterback Johnny Unitas, led an unsuccessful effort to buy the New England Patriots four years ago.

Vikings president Roger Headrick, one of the 10 current owners, and San Antonio businessman Red McCombs were the other finalists.

The Vikings’ current ownership group, with 10 people owning equal shares, is unusual. The league has been pushing the team for several years to pick one owner who would have at least a 30 percent share. The owners decided last summer to put the team on the market.

Whitney said one stipulation of the sale would be that the team remain in Minnesota. Clancy said that was his plan.

Once among the NFL’s most dominant teams in the late 1960s and 1970s, the Vikings have made it to the NFC championship game only once since 1977.

The current ownership group took control in 1991 after paying $50 million, with half the amount still outstanding.

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