Okay kids, as many of you know, I'm a retired military guy (oooh boy, heeeeeeere we go), and I still work for the government (and I'm here to help, hahaha). And in the government we have this acronym called BLUF, or bottom line up front. If you're going send out a long, kind of wonkish, potentially boring memo to a bunch of people, in the first line you put the acronym BLUF, and get straight to the bottom line.
BLUF: The Minnesota Vikings are getting a new stadium and they won't move from the state of Minnesota. Period. It is signed into law and it will get done.
Okay, now that's out of the way, let's get to brass tacks. A few weeks ago, we told you that the Wilf family lost a civil lawsuit that was 21 years in the making. Let me repeat that: Over two decades ago, the Wilfs were sued, and it was resolved a few weeks ago.
That would be 1992 when this all started. In 1992, Dennis Green was getting ready to start his first season as the Vikings coach, Rich Gannon was your starting quarterback, and Adrian Peterson was 7 years old.
And let's clear THIS up while we're at it: there is a huge difference between civil lawsuit and criminal trial. This was a civil lawsuit. The Wilfs were not criminally charged with anything, they were just sued for being bad business partners in the building of an apartment complex. Yes, the judge threw out the term 'civil racketeering', which sounds scary, but all that essentially means the Wilf's cheated their partners out of money. Not good, but not criminal.
So it's not like this was some super secret lawsuit that popped up out of nowhere, like Governor Mark Dayton made it seem like when the Wilfs were found liable and will be ordered to pay restitution. Really, if this had been a criminal racketeering deal, with potential jail time looming, do you think the NFL would have approved the Wilf's as owners when they bought the team?
But suddenly, the governor wants to do 'due diligence' to make sure the Vikings can meet their financial obligations with regards to the stadium. Wait, NOW you want to do due diligence, Governor Dayton?
I find it damn near impossible to believe that the Wilf's financials weren't scrutinized by some state official somewhere at sometime, and they had to know that this lawsuit was out there. And they also had to know that if the Wilf family lost this lawsuit, it would not affect their ability to meet their financial obligations towards the stadium.
If they didn't do anything other than take the Wilf's at their word, and the governor was okay with that, then Mark Dayton is the stupidest man to ever win the governorship of any state in this great country. Ever.
Of course the state of Minnesota did their due diligence. So needless to say, the Vikings were a bit pissed when Dayton said he wanted to re-check everything. In a tit for tat retaliation, the Vikings have quit negotiating with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority on contracts associated with the stadium until the state of Minnesota has done their 'due diligence'. Again. Because it wasn't good enough the first time.
This could, potentially, put the time line for the stadium in jeopardy, and delays could lead to cost overruns. Currently, the body responsible for any stadium cost overruns is...wait for it...WAIT FOR IT...SERIOUSLY, YOU'RE GOING TO LAUGH...the state of Minnesota. Which means you, the Minnesota taxpayer.
All Dayton is doing is pandering to the block of voters who didn't like the bill and don't like that the bill passed and that a new stadium will be built. But there's really nothing he can do--the stadium bill is signed into law, the WIlf's, by all accounts, have the money to meet their obligations, so all Dayton is doing is grandstanding.
And potentially costing the taxpayers more money. Way to go, governor. Way to go.