Don’t pull Vikings stadium funding [UPDATED]Published 4:37am Monday, August 19, 2013 Updated 6:41am Monday, August 19, 2013
It is likely Minnesota legislators who, upon hearing of the legal troubles Vikings owners Zigi and Mark Wilf face in New Jersey, may be tempted in the potential special session this summer to propose to pull back the state’s funding piece for a new Vikings stadium.
To those legislators, please avoid such notions, if you can help it.
The Legislature approved a $498 million funding piece paid for by the state of Minnesota and city of Minneapolis for the $975 million stadium. Legislators certainly did not vote for it based on the likeability of the Wilfs. It was clear that, without a new stadium, the owners ultimately would move the team.
The Wilfs certainly are not above criticism if they are found guilty of wrongdoing in New Jersey. But the bottom line is, no matter what legal troubles the Wilfs are in, it does not alter the fact that the new Vikings stadium is the only way to keep the team in Minnesota.
With a Forbes’ estimated value of more than $1 billion, the Wilfs clearly could find a buyer should their financial troubles become too deep. It is also likely the National Football League would guarantee the Wilfs’ $477 million share.
It is clear Minnesotans want the Vikings to stay here. While Legislators can’t ignore the Wilfs’ situation, they shouldn’t quickly react to it either by pulling state funding.