The five members of the newly formed Stadium Authority were named today to oversee the design, construction and financing of the new publicly -subsidized Vikings stadium to be built in downtown Minneapolis.
Gov. Mark Dayton, who made three of the appointments, named Michele Helm-Helgen, his deputy chief of staff, as chair of the Authority. Her father, the late Tom Kelm, was a DFL activist and chief of staff for former Gov. and Sen. Wendell Anderson and later became a lobbyist.
Dayton’s other appointments are: John D. Griffith, Target’s executive vice president of property development, and Duane Benson, a former NFL player and former state senator who now is executive director of the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, with his two appointments, named Barbara Butts Williams, a dean at Capella University, and Bill McCarthy, president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation.
The Stadium Authority replaces the old Metropolitan Sports Commission, which owned and operated the Metrodome.
Ted Mondale, the former Met Council head who’d chaired the Sports Commission since 2011 and was the state’s point man in stadium negotiations, will continue to have a role in stadium preparation, even though he’s not on the Authority, the governor’s office said.
Financing for the $975 million stadium, approved this year by the Legislature, calls for $348 million from the state paid by electronic charitable gambling pulltabs and bingo. Minneapolis will contribute $150 million. The Vikings will put up $477 million, which will include naming rights and a likely loan from the NFL.
The 65,000-seat stadium should be ready by the 2016 season; the team will play some games at the University of Minnesota football stadium during construction.