Wilf: I'll Pay $250M

Zygi Wilf said over the weekend that he is willing to kick in $250 million for a new stadium in the Downtown East location. But considering that cost estimates range between $700 million and $950 million depending on the bells and whistles, the question now becomes who will pick up the rest of a pretty big check?

The other shoe came down over the weekend concerning the Vikings stadium options and, from the initial sound of things, it doesn't sound overly promising for getting anything major resolved this year.

Three weeks after unveiling artists' sketches of what the new Vikings stadium in the proposed Downtown East location would look like, the price tag is nearly $1 billion if it has a roof. Sticker shock indeed. Over the weekend of minicamp, Zygi Wilf said the Vikings would be willing to contribute $250 million toward a state-of-the-art stadium. There is also the possibility that another $100 million might be available for a revolving NFL fund formerly known as G-3 funding.

But even if that money is available, there's still the matter of anywhere from $350 to $600 million more needed for the stadium to get completed. The money, it is contended, would have to come from the state. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has stated that he doesn't believe the state should be involved in funding stadiums for pro sports owners, so it would appear that the two sides could be reaching an impasse.

The Vikings and Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission have clearly been put on the backburner too long to get anything done – good or bad – during the current Legislative session and, if the proposal is to be heard next year, it will come when 80 percent of the legislators are up for re-election – never an easy sell to the constituents.

In a final nugget of wisdom, Wilf, who has never been a strong supporter of a roof on the stadium proposals, said if the state wants a roof on it, they can pay for it themselves.

MONDAY NOTES
* Prayers go out to Daunte Culpepper following the death of his adoptive mother Emma. Daunte was one of 15 children raised by Emma Culpepper – none of them her biological children. She was 92 years old.
* The NFL is discussing the potential of a three-day draft with the first round being conducted in prime time on Friday night, presumably with Rounds 2-4 on Saturday and 5-7 on Sunday.

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