SBD/December 3, 2012/Facilities

Vikings Stadium Construction Provides Potential Windfall For Law Firms

The Vikings' choice of firms surprised some in the Minnesota legal community
When the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority “sought applications for legal help in the construction of a new $975 million stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, it was not surprising to see 16 law firms toss their hats into the ring for a project that's likely to yield several million dollars or more in legal fees,” according to David Phelps of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Legal consultant Roy Ginsburg said, “It's reasonably steady work and a great high-profile project to tell prospective clients about.” For the “complex construction issues, the authority hired Fabyanske, Westra, Hart & Thomson, a relatively small Minneapolis law firm.” For its other legal needs, including “issues involving labor and employment, intellectual property and real estate, the authority chose Dorsey & Whitney, a venerable Minneapolis firm with a broad range of legal capabilities.” The Vikings have “assigned their legal work to the Minneapolis firm of Briggs & Morgan, which was also retained by the Pohlad organization on behalf of the Minnesota Twins in the Target Field project.” The Vikings also are using N.Y.-based firm Proskauer Rose," which has a close relationship” with the NFL and other pro leagues and teams. The Vikings' choice of firms “surprised some in the Minnesota legal community because Faegre Baker Daniels, formerly known as Faegre & Benson, did not make the cut for the stadium legal team.” Faegre has “done legal work for the football team for many years.” Vikings VP/Legal Affairs & Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Warren said that the team “remains a client of Faegre on nonstadium matters.” Warren said, “We believe in Minnesota firms. Faegre still does legal work for us and we have an ongoing relationship with a multitude of Minnesota firms" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/2).

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