Sports Facilities Authority moves to intervene in bond suit

The agency managing construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium says it has filed motions to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the project's financing method.

Former mayoral candidate Doug Mann, his wife Linda Mann, and former school board member David Tilsen sued the state on Friday. They claim it's illegal to use city sales taxes to pay off state debt.

In a Monday afternoon conference call with reporters, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said the agency is also seeking to have the plaintiffs post a $49.7 million surety bond. Kelm-Helgen said that would allow the authority to recover costs associated with any delays.

"There's some very large financial consequences that could occur here, and I think it's important that somebody be responsible for looking at how those might be covered," she said.

Kelm-Helgen said if the agency doesn't have cash from the bond sale by Jan. 23, major construction delays could result and might force the Vikings to play three seasons rather than two at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium.

Lead plaintiff Doug Mann said he has not seen the latest motions in the case and could not comment yet.

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