Reporter Rochelle Olson updates you on the construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Stadium authority to ask Vikings and Wilfs to pay for extra legal work

Posted by: Richard Meryhew under Vikings Updated: August 15, 2013 - 1:48 PM

So who will pay for the deeper legal and financial background check into Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and his family that was ordered up this week by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority?

If authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen has her way, the team and the owners will foot the bill.

Kelm-Helgen said Wednesday that the cost of the "normal" due diligence work required of the authority as it negotiates the final terms of the stadium deal is covered under the project's $975 million construction budget.

But she said any additional investigative work into the Wilfs' business background, especially as it relates to their recent legal troubles in New Jersey, will be charged to the team or its owners.

"As a public body, we think it's important that this additional work that needs to be done be covered by the Wilfs or the Vikings," she said.

The authority on Tuesday said that it had hired securites attorney Peter Carter, of the Dorsey & Whitney law firm, and FTI Consulting, an international forensic accounting firm, to conduct an extensive background investigation into Wilf and his family to see whether their legal troubles will affect their ability to help finance the stadium project..

The additional work stems from a finding last week by a New Jersey Superior Court judge in a long-pending lawsuit against Wilf and the family's real estate business. The judge said the family was guilty of fraud, breach of contract and violations of the state's civil racketeering statute in connection with a real estate partnership. The Wilfs were sued two decades ago by two business partners who alleged they were cheated out of more than $20 million over ownership of a 764-unit apartment project called Rachel Gardens, in Montville, N.J.

Gov. Mark Dayton later urged the stadium authority and its legal counsel to carefully review the owners and team commitments to the stadium project to ensure that they were "truthful and accurate."

The state of Minnesota and city of Minneapolis are responsible for $498 million of the $975 million construction cost with the team picking up the rest.

Kelm-Helgen said she has spoken with Vikings officials about the billing, but added "they haven't agreed to it."

Lester Bagley, the team's vice president for public affairs, said Wednesday that neither the Wilfs nor the Vikings "have a business relationship with Dorsey & Whitney or FTI." He declined further comment.

The more extensive background work comes as the Vikings and stadium authority near final negotiations on stadium lease and development agreements. The two sides had hoped to sign off on both at the authority's Aug. 23 meeting, but have pushed final action to a later date. 

Kelm-Helgen and Bagley said the delay shouldn't disrupt plans to break ground on the project sometime in mid to late October.



Chicago WSox - WP: S. Carroll 6 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister 2
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 11 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 6
NY Yankees - WP: S. Greene 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: C. Tillman 0
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 2 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 0
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 10 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: V. Black 5
Boston - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: J. Fields 3
Minnesota - WP: K. Correia 9 FINAL
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 3
Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 10
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 5 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
Washington - WP: R. Detwiler 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 3
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Wilson 6 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: J. Hoover 5
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 5 FINAL
Texas - LP: M. Mikolas 2
San Diego - LP: K. Quackenbush 0 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: K. Jansen 1
Oakland - LP: J. Chavez 2 FINAL
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 6
Colorado 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 3
Houston 2 FINAL
Toronto FC 4
Columbus 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
Chicago 1 FINAL
New England 0
Sporting Kansas City 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
Chivas USA 3 FINAL
Vancouver FC 1
Real Salt Lake 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 1
Winnipeg 34 FINAL
Montreal 33
Ottawa 11 FINAL
Edmonton 27
Calgary 34 FINAL
Toronto 15
Brt Columbia 26 FINAL
Saskatchewan 13
Atlanta 93 FINAL
Indiana 74
Washington 91 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question