VIKINGS STADIUM: Stalled negotiations could delay groundbreaking
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -
At a Friday morning meeting, Minnesota Sports Facilities Association chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said the Vikings unexpectedly broke off lease and development negotiations this week – a hitch that could delay the new stadium's groundbreaking.
Kelm-Helgen said the MSFA and Vikings must finalize negotiations on the use agreement and development agreement by September 15 in order to meet the July 2016 opening deadline. The goal is to break ground Nov. 7.
Vikings officials said they won't continue negotiations until an audit of team owner Zygi Wilf and brother Mark is complete.
A New Jersey judge ruled the Wilfs violated racketeering laws and used fraudulent bookkeeping practices to keep two business partners from receiving their fair share of revenues from an apartment complex project.
Vikings director of corporate communications Jeff Anderson said the fundamental agreements governing the stadium can be finalized "when due diligence is complete" and the MSFA is confident in the Wilfs and the Minnesota Vikings.
Anderson said the team is "fully cooperating with the due diligence process, which we understand is moving toward completion."