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

Stadium authority to release findings on Wilf audit

Posted by: Richard Meryhew under Vikings, Lions Updated: September 13, 2013 - 10:50 AM

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority will hold a 2 p.m. press conference Friday at the Metrodome to release findings of an extensive legal and financial audit of Minnesota Viking owners Zygi and Mark Wilf.

The briefing will be held in the Halsey Hall Room on the stadium's southeast side.

The stadium authority, which is overseeing development of the team's nearly $1 billion new home in downtown Minneapolis, ordered the more extensive background check of the Wilfs last month after a New Jersey judge ruled that they had defrauded partners in a real estate deal in that state. The judge, who was highly critical of the family's business practices, is expected to award damages in that case within the next two weeks.

The judge's sharp criticism, and concerns that a damage award could be substantial, raised initial concerns about the Wilfs' ability to cover their portion of the construction cost.

But authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said last week that a preliminary review of the Wilf family finances by auditors and attorneys working for the authority indicated that even in a "worst-case" scenario involving the awarding of tens of millions of dollars in punitive damages, the owners appeared to have the "financial capability" to pay for their share of the stadium building cost.

The Wilfs and the Vikings have said repeatedly that the lawsuit would have no bearing on the stadium project or their ability to finance construction.

The Vikings are responsible for $477 million of the stadium's construction cost, with the state of Minnesota and city of Minneapolis picking up the rest.

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