Vikings principle owner Zygi Wilf
MINNEAPOLIS - The Minneapolis Sports Facilities Authority believes delays with the new stadium project are now unavoidable.
"At this point, I really think there is a delay," says Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the MSFA, which is overseeing the new Vikings stadium.
An impasse continues between the authority and the Wilf family, which owns the Vikings. The Wilfs are refusing to return to the negotiating table to finish their financing agreement until a review into their finances is complete.
Vikings vice president Lester Bagley has been speaking on the Wilf's behalf. He says the Wilfs are cooperating with the review and will turn over necessary financial information to the lawyers for the Authority this week.
The review was ordered earlier this month after a New Jersey court ruled against the Wilf family in a court case that dates back more than two decades.
"We definitely need them to come back to the table, but they've been very clear that they don't plan to do that," says Kelm-Helgen.
"We can't have a partnership agreement until there is confidence in the partnership," says Bagley.
He says that confidence will not come until the review is complete, which is expected to be on Sept. 15.
The stadium authority believes the delay in negotiations could set back the entire construction timeline by a month and push back the stadium's expected completion date of July 1, 2016.
If costs increase as a result, Kelm-Helgen expects the Vikings to foot the bill.
"The team will be responsible for those cost overruns as far as the authority is concerned," says Kelm-Helgen. "We are not the ones that are delaying this project."
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