SBD/September 5, 2013/NFL Season Preview

State Review Finds Wilfs Have Sufficient Funds To Pay For New Vikings Stadium

Zygi Wilf continues to see his finances poured over by the MSFA
The Vikings yesterday said that they "will work toward finalizing contracts critical to getting their new Minneapolis stadium built on time after a preliminary look at a state-ordered review signaled the finances of the team's owners pass muster," according to a front-page piece by Doug Belden of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority got an update yesterday morning "from auditors indicating that, even in a worst-case scenario, the damage award against Vikings Owners Zygi and Mark Wilf in an "unrelated civil case in New Jersey would not preclude them from contributing their share" of the $975M stadium project. The Vikings yesterday afternoon issued a statement stating that they "continue to believe the stadium will be completed on schedule." Belden notes the Vikings "broke off talks on the stadium use and development agreements Aug. 22, saying they would not return to the table till the 'due diligence review' of the Wilfs was complete." MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen "warned that pushing off agreement on those contracts -- which cover operations, division of revenue and other issues -- could delay the projected July 2016 completion of the project by a month" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 9/5). Kelm-Helgen said that "even in a 'worst-case' scenario involving a judge awarding tens of millions of dollars in punitive damages," the Wilfs appear to have the "'financial capability' to pay for their share of the stadium building cost." She also said that the "public board overseeing the development doesn’t need to wait for a judge’s ruling later this month to move forward with the project." In Minneapolis, Richard Meryhew in a front-page piece notes team officials "will return to the negotiating table to hammer out important lease and development agreements." Kelm-Helgen said she was more confident construction will stay on schedule "as long as the use and development agreements get done by mid-September." The Vikings are responsible for $477M of the construction cost (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/5).
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