Wednesday, September 4, 2013
ATH: Wilfs want finances kept private
By Ben Goessling
Welcome to Around the Horns, our daily look at what's happening on the Vikings beat:
Well, we've done it. We've switched the title of this blog post, at least for a day, to an acronym, continuing in the proud tradition of "BBAO" replacing "Black & Blue All Over." This might be a temporary change, but I trust that you, dear readers, are savvy enough to catch the change -- and to get why I needed some extra real estate to keep today's headline from spilling over into a second row.
Anyway, as you can see from the headline, the latest twist in the Wilf family's ongoing lawsuit is this: While a New Jersey judge prepares to award damages in a 21-year lawsuit, and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority analyzes whether those damages will affect the Vikings' owners ability to pay for their share of a new stadium, the Wilfs don't want any more eyes browsing their books.
They've asked Judge Deanna Wilson to keep their finances private, according to Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, as Wilson considers how much of the Wilfs' money to award to the business partners they defrauded. Their finances will be a key part of how Wilson arrives at her final number, Murphy says, and the judge could release some numbers in a hearing next Monday.
The fact that Wilfs have requested, and will receive, public money for the Vikings' new stadium would seem like a compelling reason for taxpayers to know the owners are capable of holding up their end of the bargain. But those of you who are itching to see the Wilfs' balance sheet probably shouldn't get too excited; even in these kinds of situations, the details of an owner's finances are rarely handed over to the general public. Then again, Wilson made it clear in her strongly-worded statements last month that she doesn't think too highly of how the Wilfs treated their business partners, so maybe she'll find reason to share more information.
Here are today's other Vikings stories of note:
While Wilson analyzes the Wilfs' books in New Jersey, the MSFA is doing so in Minnesota, and could complete its review of the owners' records by next Monday -- six days before it needed to finish the audit to keep stadium construction on track, writes Richard Meryhew of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.