Heading into his 12th season of ownership in 2016, Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf has led a transformation of the Minnesota Vikings organization. Wilf, along with his brother Zygi, oversees the management and strategic planning of every department within the Vikings. Most recently, Wilf led two of the most significant initiatives in the team’s history with the completion of U.S. Bank Stadium and the successful bid to bring Super Bowl LII to Minnesota, both creating a significant impact on the community and state.
The Wilfs have dedicated their focus to three primary areas since taking ownership of the Vikings in 2005; building a winning football team and bringing a Championship to Minnesota, providing the best game day experience possible for Vikings fans, and positively impacting the Minneapolis-St. Paul community and the entire state of Minnesota. The Vikings have made strides in all facets, including establishing what will be one of the best game day experiences in the NFL following the construction of a state-of-the art, multi-use U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The stadium, which gained state approval in May 2012, opened in July 2016 and gives Vikings fans one of the most premiere stadiums in the world in which they can continue the proud tradition of an imposing home-field advantage.
As the largest construction project in state history, the new stadium created thousands of jobs and has had a significant economic impact on the region, both during construction and as a multi-use facility capable of hosting more events than any stadium in the country.
Prior to the stadium’s opening, the facility has already secured two of the world’s marquee sporting events – the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four. Wilf served as Honorary Co-Chair of the Minnesota Super Bowl Bid Committee and spearheaded conversations with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL owners which led to Minnesota being named host of Super Bowl LII in February 2018. Minnesota will host the event for only the second time, the previous being Super Bowl XXVI on January 26, 1992. Wilf now serves as Honorary Co-Chair of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee.
Wilf embraces his role as a steward of the franchise and understands that the Vikings have been a valuable part of the fabric of life in the region since 1961. Philanthropy has been ingrained in the Wilf family for generations and Mark and Zygi have brought that same commitment and involvement to Minnesota, with a particular dedication to children’s health, most notably with their recent $5 million donation to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital to create the Wilf Family Center. The Center is designed to be the intellectual center of children’s health care in the Midwest, with impact extending far beyond the region’s borders.
In addition, Mark and Zygi and the Wilf Family Foundation have provided significant and impactful grants and donations to numerous charitable causes throughout the state of Minnesota. Under the Wilfs, the Vikings have implemented multiple community initiatives, including the Annual Playground Build in a neighborhood of need and the Second Harvest Heartland Summer Lunch Program, which has helped supply more than two million meals to underserved children during the summer months. Mark created the Annual Playground Build and it has become a tremendous Vikings tradition. The Wilfs have actively encouraged every player on the roster to take part in team community service events and in nine of the 10 previous seasons, all 53 players have participated in Vikings community outreach.
A longtime supporter of the Jewish community, Mark and his family are among the largest financial supporters of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial museum in Israel. Mark has previously served as the National Campaign Chairman for the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) and was recently appointed by JFNA to lead a new initiative that addresses the needs of impoverished Holocaust survivors living in the United States.
Throughout their professional lives, the Wilfs have worked tirelessly to treat everyone associated with their businesses as members of the family. That structure has led to national prominence in their business ventures with Garden Homes Development, a nationwide leader in retail, commercial and private residential development, and has been prominent in their ownership of the Vikings.
Mark earned his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, where he served as the radio voice of Princeton Tigers football and basketball. He later graduated from the New York University School of Law before becoming a principal in the family business. Mark currently serves on several boards, including Vanderbilt University, the NYU School of Law and Princeton Varsity Club. He also serves on the NFL’s Business Ventures Committee.
Mark and his wife Jane, who is also heavily involved in philanthropic activities, have four children.