Official warns of hitch on Minn. Vikings stadium

By DOUG GLASS - Associated Press
    2013-08-23 19:28

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The public authority overseeing construction of a new Minnesota Vikings stadium warned Friday that the opening could be delayed if the team doesn't quickly resume negotiations on lease and development agreements.

Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said the team unexpectedly broke off negotiations a day earlier, saying it wanted to wait until a review was completed on its ability to finance its $477 million share of the nearly billion-dollar stadium.

Kelm-Helgen said the agreements need to be in place by Sept. 15 to avoid delays. The project timeline calls for breaking ground on the taxpayer-subsidized stadium on Nov. 7 and completing it ahead of the 2016 football season.

Kelm-Helgen wouldn't identify the major issues separating the two sides on the agreements, calling them ``substantial'' but well within reach. At the authority's regular meeting Friday, she said it was a surprise when the Vikings broke off talks. Delay in those agreements would delay the team's financing and eventually a state bond sale.

``We felt like it was important we have an alert that our (construction) schedule could be in jeopardy,'' Kelm-Helgen said. That could eventually mean cost overruns for taxpayers.

Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley said the team was confident the stadium would stay on schedule. But he said the due diligence review was having a negative effect on the talks, an allusion to the closer examination of owners Zygi and Mark Wilf's family finances after a New Jersey judge found they had defrauded a business partner in a past development deal. Gov. Mark Dayton has said his confidence in the Wilfs was shaken and said an audit was necessary before the public commits $498 million of taxpayer money.

``We can't have partnership negotiations when we're not at the table as partners,'' Bagley said.

The New Jersey judge is expected to rule soon on the damages the Wilfs will have to pay. But Bagley said again Friday the lawsuit ``will have absolutely no impact'' on their ability to pay their share of the stadium.

Bagley said the team has provided detailed financial information for the authority and arranged meetings involving the NFL and several banks, including U.S. Bank.

``Both the NFL and the banks have said unequivocally that the Wilfs have the financial wherewithal to finance this project,'' Bagley said.

But Peter Carter, the Minneapolis lawyer hired by the stadium authority to review the Wilfs' financial backgrounds, disputed that the Wilfs have been forthcoming about their finances.

``The MSFA, through our attorneys, have made multiple requests for more cooperation from the Wilfs. To date they have refused to provide us with any personal financial information that our advisers need to obtain comfort that the New Jersey court case result will not impact their ability to meet their financial obligations,'' Carter said in a statement released by the authority.

Bagley responded: ``It's not productive to engage in this kind of back-and-forth with the MSFA. The Vikings stand behind our comments from earlier today.''

The $975 million stadium project was approved by the Legislature in 2012 with a strong push from Dayton, who warned that the team could leave the state without a new building. And despite the cloud raised by the New Jersey lawsuit, both Dayton and Kelm-Helgen have said they see no way the stadium doesn't move forward.

An Associated Press review of contracts this week found millions have already been paid or committed, even before ground has been broken.

The team is entering its final season in the Metrodome, its home for more than three decades. The Vikings are planning to play two years at the University of Minnesota's on-campus stadium before its new home is ready, assuming it is constructed on schedule.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Sean LeeOct 5 06:42p

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee (concussion) is feeling better but will have to pass all of his concussion tests before he is cleared to play again, according to head coach Jason Garrett.

Lance DunbarOct 5 06:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar (knee) will miss the rest of the 2015 season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in Week 4. He scheduled [ More ]

Ronnie BrownOct 5 05:32p

Free-agent RB Ronnie Brown (Chargers) re-signed with the San Diego Chargers Monday, Oct. 5, according to a source. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Andrew LuckOct 5 05:12p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) is expected to play in the Week 5 game against the Houston Texans Thursday, Oct. 8. Luck has a slightly separated throwing shoulder [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsOct 5 04:42p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins' (calf) status for the Week 5 game against the Tennessee Titans is uncertain at this point, according to head coach Rex Ryan. 'He looked [ More ]

Jordan ReedOct 5 04:42p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed's (concussion, knee, ankle) head injury is a real concern, according to head coach Jay Gruden. Reed has a long history of head injuries dating [ More ]

Daniel FellsOct 5 04:42p

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells (ankle) was placed on the season-ending Reserve/Injured list Monday, Oct. 5, due to a staph infection in his ankle. TE Will Tye was [ More ]

Antonio GatesOct 5 04:22p

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates is in great shape and will be play in the Week 5 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to head coach Mike McCoy.

Ryan MallettOct 5 02:42p

Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett will be the starting quarterback for the Week 5 game against the Indianapolis Colts Thursday, Oct. 8, according to head coach Bill O'Brien.

Christine MichaelOct 5 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB Christine Michael will have a role in the offense, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones, with RB Lance Dunbar (knee) possibly out for the rest [ More ]

Dez BryantOct 5 02:32p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (foot) could return after the Cowboys' Week 6 bye, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones. Bryant recently had a positive examination of the [ More ]

Cecil Shorts IIIOct 5 02:12p

Houston Texans WR Cecil Shorts (shoulder) is considered doubtful for the Week 5 game against the Indianapolis Colts because of the dislocated shoulder he suffered in Week 4.

Alec OgletreeOct 5 02:12p

St. Louis Rams LB Alec Ogletree (ankle) will need surgery on his ankle, according to head coach Jeff Fisher. Ogletree is a candidate to be placed on the short-term Reserve/Injured list.

Dan CampbellOct 5 01:52p

Miami Dolphins tight ends coach Dan Campbell was named the team's interim head coach Monday, Oct. 5.

Julius ThomasOct 5 01:52p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Julius Thomas (hand) is scheduled to meet with a doctor Monday, Oct. 5, and may be cleared for full practice after the meeting. His status for [ More ]

Caleb SturgisOct 5 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles PK Caleb Sturgis will remain the team's kicker for the time being, according to head coach Chip Kelly.

Will MontgomeryOct 5 01:22p

Chicago Bears C Will Montgomery (leg) will miss the remainder of the 2015 season after he suffered a fractured tibia during the team's Week 4 game. He will need [ More ]

Josh JohnsonOct 5 01:22p

Indianapolis Colts QB Josh Johnson was released Monday, Oct. 5.

Colin KaepernickOct 5 01:02p

San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick was 13-for-25 for just 160 yards and an interception in the Week 4 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He also ran for 57 yards on 10 carries.

Kyle BrindzaOct 5 12:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers PK Kyle Brindza was released Monday, Oct. 5, after missing seven kicks in the last two weeks.

Joe PhilbinOct 5 11:52a

Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin was fired Monday, Oct. 5, according to Sun-Sentinel.

Willie SneadOct 5 11:02a

New Orleans Saints WR Willie Snead played 48 snaps (66% of the offense) Sunday, Oct. 4, in Week 4, while WR Brandon Coleman played just 19 for 26% of the offense.

Andrew LuckOct 5 10:12a

Updating an earlier report, Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) is expected by the team to be under center Thursday, Oct. 8, against the Houston Texans. His shoulder injury [ More ]

Daniel FellsOct 5 09:52a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells (foot) had an unexpected foot surgery and is likely headed to Injured Reserve, according to sources.

Jordan ReedOct 5 09:42a

Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion) was diagnosed with a concussion Sunday, Oct. 4.

Andrew LuckOct 5 08:52a

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) has a short week to prepare for Week 5, but he's trending toward being ready Thursday, Oct. 8, against the Houston Texans. 'He [ More ]

DeMarco MurrayOct 5 08:42a

Philadelphia Eagles RB DeMarco Murray said he's not getting enough touches in the offense Sunday, Oct. 4. 'No, I'm not,' Murray said. 'I don't think I am. It's how [ More ]

C.J. SpillerOct 5 01:42a

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller carried just twice for 10 yards in the Week 4 game against the Dallas Cowboys, but he had an 80-yard touchdown catch and [ More ]

Willie SneadOct 5 01:42a

New Orleans Saints WR Willie Snead posted six receptions for 89 yards in the Week 4 game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Mark IngramOct 5 01:42a

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram carried 17 times for 77 yards in the Week 4 game against the Dallas Cowboys. He also added six receptions for 51 yards [ More ]

Drew BreesOct 5 01:42a

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees (shoulder) completed 33 of his 41 pass attempts for 359 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. His 80-yard touchdown pass to RB C.J. [ More ]

Brandon WeedenOct 5 01:12a

Dallas Cowboys QB Brandon Weeden completed 16 of his 26 pass attempts for 246 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in the Week 4 overtime loss against the New [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group