Lawmaker: state should not issue stadium bonds until Wilf audit is done - Bring Me The News

Lawmaker: state should not issue stadium bonds until Wilf audit is done

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A Minnesota lawmaker wants the state to postpone the bond sales that will help fund a new stadium until an audit of the Vikings' owners finances is complete.

Rep. Joe Atkins tells KSTP the state should see what a new round of due diligence finds before embarking on a $348 million bond sale.

Minnesota has agreed in principle to put that amount toward a stadium but signing the final contract agreements with Zygi and Mark Wilf was recently postponed. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority decided more scrutiny of the Wilfs' financial practices was warranted after a judge ruled they were guilty of fraud and racketeering in a New Jersey real estate deal that dates from the 1990's.

The authority's chair reiterated Monday that the investigation of the Wilfs' finances is necessary to reassure the public before the stadium deal becomes final.

The authority and the Wilfs were negotiating the fine points of what would be in that final deal until last week, when the Vikings walked away from the table, saying there was no point in continuing the talks if they lacked the confidence of the Sports Facilities Authority.

If the authority's audit of the Wilfs is complete by their target date of September 15th, it's still possible that stadium construction could begin this fall with the new building ready to open for the 2016 football season. In comments to the Pioneer Press over the weekend, Mark Wilf said he remains confident that is what will happen.

Rep. Atkins sits on the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Sports Facilities and tells KSTP he's putting together a resolution calling for no bond issue until the due diligence is complete. But the station says that resolution would be only a recommendation to Gov. Mark Dayton, who will decide when the bonds are sold. Here's a clip of Rep. Atkins speaking to KSTP:

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