Vikings owners await N.J. judgement; Minnesota gets out its credit card

Three members of the Wilf family who own part of the Vikings are awaiting word from a New Jersey judge  about the damages they’ll face in a long-running real estate dispute.

Zygi Wilf (MPR Photo/Tim Nelson)

Judge Deanne Wilson has ruled that Zygi, Mark and Leonard Wilf “systematically cheated their partners Josef Halpern and Ada Reichmann for 21 years,” writes Ben Horowitz of the New Jersey Star-Ledger. The attorneys are making arguments in a Morristown courtroom today, and the judge is expected to rule by the end of the day.

The case raised questions about the Wilfs’ and Vikings’ ability to pay their share of the new Vikings stadium. But an audit of the Wilfs’ finances by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority found the Wilfs would be able to pay their share even in what attorneys considered a “worst case scenario.”

An analysis of the stadium deal by MPR also found that the Vikings could have revenue available from various sources (including an NFL subsidized loan, personal seat license fees and naming rights proceeds) to pay as much as 99 percent of the team’s $477 million commitment.

And in case there was any doubt that the deal was moving ahead, Minnesota Management and Budget has just issued a request for proposals to investment firms to help sell the state’s stadium debt. The state wants $498 million in proceeds to pay for the state and city’s share of the Vikings stadium’s expected $975 million cost.

The proposals are due Oct. 9. The Vikings are expected to close on their financing about Nov. 1 and the MSFA is planning a groundbreaking within days. MSFA chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen has said the state could sell its bonds soon after that.

Here’s the MMB RFP: