Dayton, Rybak appoint stadium authority

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority will oversee the financing and construction of the new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis.
June 14, 2012

Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak on Thursday announced their appointments to the five-member board that will work with the Vikings to develop the new football stadium downtown.

Dayton appointed Michele Kelm-Helgen, his deputy chief of staff, as chair of the board, according to a press release. Kelm-Helgen will resign her position from Dayton's office.

Dayton also appointed John Griffith and Duane Benson to the board, formally titled the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. Griffith works at Target Corp., where he leads the facilities management teams, including for architecture and construction. Benson comes from higher education — he's currently on the Board of Trustees for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. He also played 11 seasons in the NFL.

By law, Dayton appoints three members of the authority, including the chair, and Rybak appoints the other two.

Rybak appointed Barbara Butts Williams, a Capella University dean, and Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation President Bill McCarthy, according to a release. McCarthy's organization represents 75,000 construction workers, teachers, nurses and service workers.

The Vikings have a preliminary deal with the University of Minnesota to play at TCF Bank Stadium while the stadium is built. The University will make about $300,000 for each game played there.

The new authority will oversee the financing, design and construction of the Vikings stadium at the Metrodome site. It will replace the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which has operated the Metrodome since 1977.

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