Gov. Dayton welcomes stadium suite audit

MINNEAPOLIS - Governor Mark Dayton is welcoming the legislative audit tied to suite access at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Star Tribune has reported that a pair of Minnesota Sports Facility Authority officials controls access to two lower-level suites for all football games and other events. Neither Authority chairwoman Michelle Kelm-Helgen nor executive director Ted Mondale would identify previous guests except 12 public officials who have reimbursed the state for game tickets.

Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles told the newspaper Wednesday he's launching a "priority" investigation. On Thursday, Dayton said Senator Rosen has raised legitimate concerns over the issue, but that it should not overshadow the accomplishments of Kelm-Helgen, Mondale and the MSFA Board.

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"They built, for the people of Minnesota, a multi-purpose stadium on-time and on-budget," Dayton said. "The stadium has already begun to fulfill my expectations by triggering over $1 billion in new business investments and several thousand new jobs in East Minneapolis."

Dayton continued, "It is extremely unfortunate that these and other exceptional accomplishments have sparked relatively little press or legislative interest, compared to the suites and recent one-sided accusations by a disgruntled board member."

Nobles said he hopes to complete his review by January.


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