Former Vikings GM Mike Lynn got rich off suite-heart Metrodome deal

For many Vikings fans, Mike Lynn will always be the sucker who pulled the trigger on the Herschel Walker trade.

But through a crafty piece of business years before, Lynn secured himself decades of wealth.

Lynn negotiated for himself 10 percent of the luxury suite revenue for every event at the Metrodome, starting in 1982. That included every Vikings game, college game, concert or tractor pull for 30 years and counting. The contract has survived ownership changes, and will only end when the Vikings new $975 million home opens in 2016.

“That agreement has been very, very good to Mike Lynn,” former team president Gary Woods said.

Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press crafted an amazing story detailing the history of Lynn’s deal, which is worth a read to anyone with 15 minutes or an interest in how these deals actually come together.

Citing two unnamed sources, Murphy reports the contract has paid Lynn between $14 million and $20 million since he signed, and he’s rejected one attempt to buy out the deal.

Lynn refused interview requests, and was said to be in failing health by relatives.

But the contract he struck so long ago has contributed to the Vikings’ shaky finances at times, since they rank 31st of 32 teams in stadium revenue.

Murphy’s story is well-worth the read, as it digs into the public documents to tell a story the principles didn’t want to tell, and takes a deep look at Lynn’s place in Vikings lore that has nothing to do with getting fleeced by Jimmy Johnson.