While the construction of a new Vikings stadium has been and will continue to be a marathon, the approval process has been more convoluted than a drag racing light tree.
After getting the green light last year, an unrelated court case from New Jersey involving team ownership caused the amber lights to re-engage — and the red light to start flickering.
But it’s now green again. According to Doug Belden of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority officially has concluded that Zygi and Mark Wilf have “significant holdings” that will allow them to meet their financial commitments, regardless of the outcome of the New Jersey litigation.
The report doesn’t specify the many monies the Wilfs possess. But those numbers could emerge via the litigation that sparked a second look at the stadium deal. The judge presiding over the New Jersey dispute regarding an apartment complex has ruled that the Wilfs must disclose their net worth in connection with the “damages” phase of the case. Zygi Wilf contends that disclosure of his financial information “will pose a serious threat to me and my family,” and that “malicious individuals” could target the Wilfs for extortion or physical attacks.
On one hand, all reasonable steps should be taken to keep the information (which will be critical to the determination of an appropriate award of punitive damages) confidential. On the other hand, buying an NFL team amounts to the purchase of a nationwide billboard that reads, “I am really, really, really rich.”
In other words, the potential threat already exists, and part of the burden of being really, really, really rich is to make the appropriate expenditures to ensure security.
Now that the powers-that-be in Minnesota have made the appropriate expenditures to ensure the security of the new stadium, the green lights can finally turn back on. And everyone involved can get really, really, really richer.