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A quick solution needed
The reasons behind having to hurriedly turn to the Wilfs for help in storing the dirt were outlined in a series of stadium authority e-mails and documents before and after the Dec. 3 groundbreaking. Stadium officials were caught off guard by the large amount of soil that could be reused at the site to save money. Before settling on the Wilf properties, Mortenson Construction — the stadium builders — quickly explored sites in Minneapolis, Maple Grove and even in Ramsey County, where the Vikings stadium had once been proposed in Arden Hills.
Three days before the sports authority formally considered a lease regarding the Wilf’s first parking lot, finding a location had become urgent. “We need to be able to fence the Wilf site yet today,” John Wood, a Mortenson official, said in a Dec. 10 e-mail. “Will this be possible? When will the lease be done?”
With the Vikings still needing to play its final two games at the Metrodome last December, the team also asked that the stadium project pay for the Wilfs to find other spots on game days to park cars belonging to Vikings employees. “We should be able to find spaces for the cheerleaders,” Don Becker, representing the Wilfs, wrote in an e-mail.
“[But] whatever we need to spend to move these [other] cars for the next 2 games I would propose should be a project expense,” said Don Becker, representing the Wilfs.
But Kelm-Helgen said that, in the end, the sports authority blocked that additional payment.
As the arrangement was disclosed at a December meeting, Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson reminded team and stadium officials to explain the deal in terms of its larger impact. In addition to the savings, remember that “neither the Wilfs nor the Vikings will receive revenue,” Anderson said in an e-mail.
Mike Kaszuba • 612-673-4388