Lawmakers propose revamped stadium board

Legislation introduced Thursday in the Minnesota House would significantly restructure the governing body of U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

The bill would expand the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority (MSFA) board from five to seven members. The governor would appoint one member, the mayor of Minneapolis would appoint one member and the Minnesota Legislature would appoint the rest.

The board chair would be elected, rather than an appointee of the governor. The board would also hire an executive director.

Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, said her bill would add accountability and oversight to the MSFA, following criticism over the use of the stadium suites under its control.

“I think what we’re looking to do is to make sure that nothing that would cause people concern would happen in the future,” Anderson said. “I think that the use of the stadium suites up to this point has been disappointing. I think that by making these changes we can make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

MSFA officials have faced sharp criticism for allowing friends and families to use the stadium suites. Anderson’s bill also sets strict rules for future use of the suites.

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The proposed reorganization comes in advance of a legislative auditor’s report next week on the MSFA.

Introduction of a Senate version of the bill is expected next week.

Sen, Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, said “better governance” is needed at the MSFA. Rosen questions the need for both an executive director and a board chair.

“The governing body does seem to be odd,” Rosen said. “One of those positions probably has to go.”