DFL state Sen. John Marty of Roseville is accusing the head of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission of manipulating numbers to help the Minnesota Vikings get a bigger public subsidy for a new stadium.
Marty, a longtime opponent of public financing for professional sports facilities, leveled the allegation in a letter made public Monday to commission Chairman Ted Mondale. The Vikings are proposing to invest $425 million, compared to a public share of $665 million.
In the letter, Marty accused Mondale of using biased and inaccurate information in a recent Senate hearing to try to make the proposed public share of the stadium more acceptable.
"What I object to is the politicians, is the public agency," Marty wrote. "The sports facilities commission is a public agency. They're supposed to represent the public interest, and yet they're pushing, they're using all the Vikings terminology. In this case, they're even using the same consultant the Vikings us to put to put together their numbers."
Mondale fired back Monday in response and said Marty is simply not accurate. Mondale flatly denies the allegations and that Marty is absolutely wrong and the debate would be better served if both sides kept to the facts.
"We'll respond to him, but I think his allegations that somehow there's something afoul here are just absolutely wrong. And I think the debate would be better served if we kept to the facts."
Mondale said that he's trying, at the direction of Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative authors, to negotiate a deal that will work for the state, the team and the local partner.