Vikings' Wilf Claims Release Of His Net Worth Would Pose Threat To Family
Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf said making his net worth public as part of a New Jersey civil suit "will pose a serious threat to me and my family," adding "malicious individuals" could target them for physical attack and extortion, according to a front-page piece by Mike Kaszuba of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. New Jersey Superior Court Judge Deanne Wilson on Monday "gave the family 20 days to appeal her decision." The Wilfs, who are "finalizing negotiations" for a new $975M stadium that would publicly subsidized, are "fighting the ruling." Wilf indicated that making his net worth public "might affect his business dealings as the owner of the Vikings and could 'damage' the family’s overall business efforts." The Wilfs "have long kept their business dealings private," but the civil suit has "shed a rare spotlight on the family’s financial affairs and over the past month has given Minnesota officials pause as they complete negotiations" for the new stadium. Wilson on Monday pointed out that estimates of Wilf's net worth "were already posted" online, and that Wilf had "chosen to maintain a high public profile." Wilson: "If one is reclusive about one’s net worth, I think you probably don’t become the owner of an [NFL] franchise" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/11).
WHERE WERE YOU A YEAR AGO? In St. Paul, Tom Powers wrote, "Minnesota should not move one shovelful of earth for a new Vikings stadium until the Wilf family publicly discloses its net worth." Getting a stadium deal done "remains a good thing, although the state's due diligence was horrendous." The Wilfs "have been on trial for years in New Jersey," and if Minnesota "did know about it, why is there such a panic to revisit the Wilfs' finances following the judgment?" Powers: "Maybe NFL commissioner Roger Goodell showed up at the Capitol and reiterated that everyone here should just shut up and do as they are told, or else run the risk of losing the team. In any event -- whoosh -- this went over everybody's head." It served as a "great full-pressure strategy by the NFL, executed perfectly at just the right time," and if it "weren't for all those unfortunate court judgments, this all might be water under the bridge by now" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 9/10).