SBD/June 25, 2012/Franchises

Former Vikings GM Lynn Still Makes Money Off Metrodome; Deal Will End With New Stadium

The $975M stadium the Vikings "will begin using in 2016 dooms the Metrodome and the gravy train that has enriched [former GM] Mike Lynn for three-plus decades," according to Brian Murphy of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Lynn negotiated "a controversial contract with the Vikings that granted him 10 percent of luxury suite revenue for every event at the Metrodome, starting in 1982, an agreement that still compensates him 22 years after he resigned from the club." Sources said that the annuity has "paid Lynn between $14 million and $20 million over the past 30 years." The sources said that Lynn has "rejected at least one buyout offer from subsequent Vikings ownership groups and will continue earning between $700,000 and $1 million each year ... until the Vikings vacate the Metrodome, most likely in 2014." Murphy noted, "Now 76 and in failing health, Lynn declined several interview requests from the Pioneer Press." Lynn's legacy deal with the Vikings "has hung like an albatross around the franchise, which ranks 31st among 32 teams in stadium revenue." However, until they move out of the Metrodome, "the Vikings are unable to seize revenue Lynn continues to draw despite not working for the team since 1990." SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said, "It's one of the worst sports deals anybody ever did. ... It's untenable and one of the contributing factors for why the Vikings have needed subsidies from teams all these years" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/24). CBSSPORTS.com's Josh Katzowitz wrote, "Sometimes the NFL owners are the ones who get screwed" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/24).
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