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Editorial: Minnesota correct to review stadium deal

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A ruling last week in a long-pending lawsuit against the Wilf family on a New Jersey real estate deal has raised concerns on the proposed Viking stadium project.

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A judge last week ruled that the Wilf family in a real estate partnership dealing was guilty of committing fraud, breach of contract and violation of New Jersey's civil racketeering statute.

The Wilf family said the court ruling would not impact their ownership of the Vikings or endanger the new stadium's financing package.

Gov. Dayton has since called on the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to review the Vikings' owners and their financial commitments.

The sports authority announced Tuesday that they have hired a prestigious Minneapolis law firm and a forensic accounting firm to review whether the Wilfs have been honest in their stadium negotiations.

It is the correct move for the stadium authority to review the team owners and their commitments at this time.

The stadium authority and the Vikings are in the final stages of negotiations on the stadium lease and development agreements. These agreements must be completed before the project moves forward.

Vikings officials have said the team will "cooperate fully" with the stadium authority's review.

Minnesota has a responsibility to conduct its due diligence to confirm all the material facts in regards to the Vikings and the Wilfs on this new stadium deal before completing these final contracts.

The $345 million investment by the state and the city of Minneapolis is no small sum. The project's stability will be critical for the state when it sells its taxpayer-backed bonds to fund its share of the construction costs.

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