Vikings officials threaten to delay stadium construction at taxpayer expense

Categories: Vikings
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Taxpayers were set to kick in at least a cool half billion for this, but the pricetag might end up being even higher.
Zygi Wilf's heel turn continues.

In the wake of courtroom revelations that the Vikings owner used "bad faith and evil motive" to bilk his business partners out of $51 million, the state launched an investigation into Zygi's finances to make sure there weren't similar shenanigans involved in the stadium deal approved by lawmakers last year.

SEE ALSO: Vikings unveil stadium design: Top 10 tweets

Vikings officials are apparently pissed off about that. So much so, in fact, that they're threatening to delay the start of stadium construction, with any incurring costs likely to be picked up by (who else?) taxpayers.

From the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal:
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority warned Friday that the new Minnesota Vikings stadium could be delayed after the Vikings broke off talks while the club owners' finances are investigated.

The due diligence investigation - launched last week after the Wilf family lost a major lawsuit - and the necessary use and development agreements between the team and authority need to be completed by Sept. 15 to hit a Nov. 7 start date, the MSFA said.

Vikings officials have put off discussions with the authority until the investigation is done. Postponing negotiations until Sept. 15 could cause other project delays.
The Star Tribune, citing comments made by Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, reports that the latest impasse "could push all the deadlines back, possibly causing cost overruns borne by the public."

But Vikings officials, as they are wont to do, downplayed the news.

Lester Bagley, the Vikings' VP of stadium development, said, "We remain confident that the stadium project will be completed as planned and on schedule," according to the Strib report.

But he also encouraged the stadium authority to wrap up their investigation into the Wilfs' finances as soon as possible.

"The MSFA needs to be fully confident in our ability to deliver financially," Bagley said. "Right now, until their due diligence is complete, they do not have that confidence. Their inquiry is having a negative impact on negotiations."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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31 comments
MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

It should've gone up for a public vote.

Daniel McDonough
Daniel McDonough

only someone with something to hide would use this tactic.

Pinko Thinker
Pinko Thinker

this was always the worst idea ever. send em to Utah.

tazzie3154
tazzie3154

Let the state build it and lease it to the vikings and they get nothing.And any thing else they build split it between the county city and the state .That's any proceeds from the leases on the property

Cara Flora
Cara Flora

the NFL doesn't pay taxes either, they have non-profit status.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

The grip professional and amateur sports have on this country from a policy perspective is embarassing at best.

As others have said, we deserve what we have gotten here.

Greg Dibble
Greg Dibble

Just seems to be another scam at the taxpayers expense... If it wasn't for all the smokers in Minnesota, you (precious vikings) wouldn't get your big playground to begin with. Maybe ALL you rich players should fork over some of your cash to fund this... There's an investment for ya.

kennyX
kennyX

Remember..............you voted for this.

Lex Lambent
Lex Lambent

this is why professional sports are a JOKE...stop buying what they're selling and everyone will be much better off.

Erik Tiberius Lervold
Erik Tiberius Lervold

fuck you, the vikings.no, really, you guys suck. i hope you all burn in hell.

Serena Superspence Spencer
Serena Superspence Spencer

If taxpayers pay for it, teams should be charged to practice and play and tickets should be free. Just like a City Park.

Didier McDougall
Didier McDougall

Considering that the Vikings sell out every game, and everybody pays taxes, I think taxpayers must be able to afford tickets, no?

Jason Bistodeau
Jason Bistodeau

How about a law that says if taxpayers build it, taxpayers should be able to afford tickets to the games!

BigLex SouthSide WherevaImat
BigLex SouthSide WherevaImat

There should be a law: No Superbowl No Stadium... Try askin for sumthin when u lames finally learn to win!

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Charlie Seto Or even better, LA.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@John Wendt Go Bears Go!

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@kennyX Who did? It was bi-partisan like Target Field. If the taxpayers actually got a vote on this, this liberal would've voted NO.

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