One of the most vocal stadium opponents in the Minnesota Legislature is accusing the head of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission of manipulating numbers and lobbying on behalf of the Vikings.
Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, took his latest shot in a letter to Ted Mondale, the chair of the commission. Marty accused Mondale of using “biased, and at times, inaccurate information” during a Senate hearing last month. He said the chairman tried to show the proposed levels of $665 million in public money and $425 million in private money are similar to the levels used to build other recent NFL stadiums. In an interview, Marty said the Vikings are actually seeking the biggest ever public share.
“I really don’t think Minnesotans want to have the record largest subsidy for any sports team in history,” Marty said. “And the sports facilities commission and a lot of politicians seem to think that’s perfectly okay.”
Marty also scolded Mondale for lobbying for the public subsidy rather than trying to negotiate a bigger private share.
Mondale did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Mondale fired back at Marty, whose allegations he said were not accurate.
“We’ll respond to him, but I think his allegations that somehow there’s something afoul here are just absolutely wrong,” Mondale said. “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.