Stadium authority says Wilfs can pay their share of stadium costs

5:07 PM, Sep 4, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- While the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority continues to look into the Wilf family finances, the authority's chair has now said that it looks like the team's share of stadium funding shouldn't be a problem.

Michele Kelm-Helgen made the announcement following a closed door meeting with the lawyers looking into the team owners finances. Lawyers have been sifting through a lawsuit that the Wilfs lost in New Jersey recently. "They're looking at the New Jersey litigation. They're making some assumptions on some worst case scenarios, frankly, in terms of what the damages could be," Kelm-Helgen noted.

It's all part of the MSFA's due diligence. Kelm-Helgen says the authority will ask the Vikings to pay their lawyers for the investigation into the New Jersey lawsuit.

The due diligence investigation should wrap up next week, ahead of schedule. Once that happens, the team and the state will resume negotiations over use and lease agreements. The MSFA chair hopes they can wrap that up in the next dozen days. The next step would be waiting on the team to line up its financing, according to the MSFA. The goal would be to get that locked up by November 1st.

"That's what needs to be done in order for the state to feel comfortable to move forward with the bond sale," Kelm-Helgen concluded.

At this point, as long as thing continue to progress, groundbreaking could occur in the first week of November.

Statement from the Minnesota Vikings:

The Vikings are pleased that the stadium project continues to move forward. Our fans deserve - and we are committed to building - a state-of-the-art facility in downtown Minneapolis. The new $975 million stadium will bring thousands of construction and ongoing jobs, along with further economic activity from stadium attendees who will patronize restaurants, bars and retail stores both before and after events.

We continue to believe that the stadium will be built on schedule and will open in time for the 2016 season. The team continues to work collaboratively with the Stadium Authority on the stadium project, and the Authority's comments today are a reflection of our partnership. We will continue to address the design and construction process, and we will work with the Authority to finalize the Use and Development Agreements.


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