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On Way Out, Kelm-Helgen Touts MSFA Accomplishments

February 24, 2017 07:29 PM

The oversight body for U.S Bank stadium is back at full strength after controversy surrounding its use of luxury suites sparked a leadership exodus.

At a Friday afternoon meeting, outgoing Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen talked about MSFA's accomplishments during her four-year tenure. 

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"We delivered a world-class stadium on time and on budget, and it is a major success story to be enjoyed by every Minnesotan for decades to come," she said. 

Kelm-Helgen also noted the MSFA and its general contractors met every equity and diversity goal they set in making sure minorities and women were equally represented in procuring building contracts and getting construction jobs at the site.

The MSFA also announced it was upgrading its Wi-Fi capabilities to give stadium visitors higher-speed connections.

“This will give fans one more amenity that is first-class, and provides the same quality and speed while using their portable devices as in their own homes," said Interim Executive Director Jim Farstad.

Kelm-Helgen and executive director Ted Mondale both resigned last week. Their exit followed months of criticism about the authority giving tickets in two luxury suites to friends and family members.

The authority on Friday approved Farstad to fill Mondale's role on an interim basis. It follows Gov. Mark Dayton's Thursday appointment of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz as interim chairwoman.

RELATED: Gov. Dayton Names Kathleen Blatz as Interim Chair of Stadium Authority after Resignations

Farstad is a current technology consultant for the stadium oversight board. He'll be paid at the same rate as Mondale, who made more than $165,000 annually.

The roles are critical as Minnesota prepares to host the 2018 Super Bowl.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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