New leader appointed for embattled MSFA

MINNEAPOLIS - The beleaguered public agency overseeing the Minnesota Vikings stadium has named a new CEO.

Rick Evans was approved as CEO and executive director by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) on Friday. His duties will start on Monday.

Evans was a Minnesota assistant attorney general for 10 years, serving in the public welfare, criminal, legislative and administrative divisions, and as chief counsel to the Department of Commerce. He was the first executive director of the Minnesota Racing Commission, and has more than 20 years of private-sector experience as a business executive and general counsel.

"I am honored to have been asked to take the role of CEO/Executive Director," said Rick Evans. "I look forward to working with the board members, the staff of the Authority, and our stadium partners. Most importantly, I look forward to serving the public in this important and challenging time."

MSFA chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen resigned under criticism last month after ethical questions about the use of luxury suites by agency officials for family and friends. In subsequent days questions have also been allegations Kelm-Helgen used her position to secure the best season tickets at U.S. Bank Stadium, and to waive rent on suites and spaces in the new stadium for selected groups to secure their business. 

MSFA executive director Ted Mondale also resigned amid legislative efforts to reshape governance of the $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium.

Kathleen Blatz had been appointed interim chairwoman by Gov. Mark Dayton.

© 2017 Associated Press


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