Get Vikings deal done and done right
July 2016 seems like a long way off, and yet the game of hardball being played in the negotiations for a Minnesota Vikings stadium development agreement now could have an impact then.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority wants the Vikings to continue negotiations on the final use and development agreements while it continues its late audit of the Vikings’ owners, the Wilf family. The state is shocked – SHOCKED – to find the Wilfs have been found guilty of civil racketeering and fraud in a 20-year-old New Jersey lawsuit over an apartment complex development venture. The state, naturally, wants to know the Wilfs will be good for their share of the stadium costs before it signs a deal.
The Vikings, however, broke off talks on the agreements until the audit is done, which could put off the groundbreaking for the stadium by a month, which could mean the stadium won’t be ready to open by July 2016, as anticipated.
We don’t know what is so magical about July 2016. So the Vikings might not be able to play an early pre-season game in their home stadium. Will that really affect their season preparations that much? Looking at this pre-season’s game, that just means Adrian Peterson and the rest of the starting lineup will have to stand around on the U of M’s TCF?Stadium sideline.
If it takes an extra month to be sure of the Wilfs, then the state should take it. Then it should insist on an iron-clad agreement that assures the Vikings will cover their share of the costs, or the NFL if the Vikings renege.