Stadium deal allows Minnesota Vikings to shield their books | NFL
The Vikings stadium deal Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law Monday involves ample public participation, but it also prevents the public from getting a look at the team's finances during their partnership to build the $975 million stadium.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Vikings stadium deal Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law Monday involves ample public participation, but it also prevents the public from getting a look at the team's finances during their partnership to build the $975 million stadium.
The law commits the state and city of Minneapolis to pay a combined $498 million, while the team will bring in $477 million from private sources.
One provision would shield "any financial information" from the team from public eyes. Critics say the blanket protection goes beyond state law, leaving taxpayers in the dark.
"We now have the largest public commitment in the state's history in an agreement with the Vikings, and we have an unprecedented lack of disclosure," said Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville, who voted against the stadium bill.
The law creates a new Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority — with members to be appointed by Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak — to vet the team's ability to fulfill its financial commitment to build, operate and repair the stadium over 30 years. The authority can demand audited financial statements and other financial information if the team breaches its agreement, but it must keep that information confidential.
• Quarterback Matt Leinart has gone from being Carson Palmer's protégé at USC to his teacher with the Oakland Raiders a decade later.
Leinart signed with Oakland earlier this month to back up his ex-college teammate and also pass on tips based on his intricate knowledge of the Raiders' new offense.
Leinart spent the past two seasons with the Texans in Houston, where new Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Knapp was his quarterbacks coach. Knapp was offensive coordinator of the Seahawks in the 2009 season.
• The New York Giants waived safety Chad Jones, a third-round draft pick in 2010 who was seriously injured in an automobile accident about two months after being drafted. The Giants said ex-Louisiana State player Jones, 23, failed his physical.
• Defensive-line coach Wayne Nunnely, 60, is retiring after 17 league seasons, the past three with the Denver Broncos.
• Southern California authorities called off a search for ex-Green Bay and USC receiver Erik Affholter, 46, after learning he contacted his ex-wife and mother by telephone. Affholter was reported missing Sunday night by his girlfriend when he failed to return from a hike in hills near Simi Valley, Calif.