Oversight Agency Leases 3 Suites at U.S. Bank Stadium
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The auditor behind an investigation into the use of two luxury suites at the new Minnesota Vikings' stadium says the oversight agency leases a third suite from the team.
Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles revealed the arrangement to state lawmakers Tuesday while discussing his report on the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. He says the authority pays the team $1.5 million for a five-year lease of the third space.
It's separate from the two exclusive suites that have landed the authority in hot water with lawmakers. Nobles' report shows nearly half of the guests it invited to those suites were friends and family.
Authority chair Michelle Kelm-Helgen says commissioners don't use the third space but that it's rented out for events.
The public agency that runs the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium issued nearly half of the tickets inside its two luxury suites to friends and family.
That’s a key finding from a recent investigation by the state’s legislative auditor released Tuesday on the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority’s use of suites at U.S. Bank Stadium. While 45 percent of the guests were friends and family of top authority officials, just 29 percent were marketing guests.
Authority chair Michelle Kelm-Helgen has said the suites were meant to attract new events and customers. The authority later changed its policies to ban family and friends.
The long-awaited report may fuel changes at the Legislature, where top Republicans have taken issue with stadium oversight. The Star Tribune first reported on the use of the suites.