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Senate Committee Urged to Act Quickly on Potential MSFA Overhaul

Photo: KSTP/ File

March 02, 2017 07:30 PM

A state Senate committee Thursday heard from former Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority member Duane Benson and Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles on a bill that would reconfigure some of the authority's structure and policies.

"Whatever you deliberate, whatever you decide, needs to happen quickly because the authority has to make a lot of decisions in a very short timeframe, and they need to get people in place," Benson said.

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The bill would change how authority members are appointed, and would put new restrictions on how board members could use luxury suites at U.S. Bank Stadium.

It would also increase the board from five to seven members, and four members would be appointed by the Legislature.

The proposed bill includes many of the suggestions Nobles' office had made during an investigation into MSFA's use of the luxury suites.

The bill would also eliminate the $130,000 salary paid to the MSFA chair.

RELATED: State Auditor Finds 158 US Bank Stadium Suite Tickets Went to Families, Friends

The results of the audit were not the only recent shake-ups the MSFA has faced.

The two top leaders of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority both resigned last month amid weeks of criticism about how luxury suites were used. MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen and CEO and executive director Ted Mondale announced their resignations the same day last month.

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Rebecca Omastiak

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