Jul 18, 2012 at 9:05 am
ST. PAUL, MN (KNSI) – After passage of the bill to build a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, the next step became appointing a stadium authority to oversee the project. But along with the five-member authority in place the formation of another oversight committee called for in the bill is still yet to take place.
The stadium bill calls for a separate "Legislative Commission on Minnesota Sports Facilities" to be formed and oversee the nearly one-billion dollar stadium program in downtown Minneapolis. Bill authors however are adamant that this second committee, composed of 12 legislators, is in no way meant to supersede or interfere with the stadium authority group.
"The authority is in charge of putting the stadium deal together, that is how it has always been, Senator Julie Rosen said. "The legislative commission is an amendment put on...not to micro manage and get into the numbers and change them and do what we always love to do."
While working as an advisory body Rosen says the really is meant to look ahead to Minnesota's future with the idea of establishing a commission that could potentially find cheaper, easier ways to administer sports facilities all around the state.
"It will be to look at the direction and find out if going forward there is some type of a management that can handle all of the sports facilities and hopefully provide some cost savings," Rosen said.
The stadium authority itself held their first meeting last month as the $975 million stadium project begins to take shape. Rosen is confident they have the people in place on the commission to create the best possible approach to the stadium administration.
"I know several of the people on the authority very well, and they are comfortable with the makeup and the dynamics of the group," Rosen said. "You can't ask for better people to be planning this wonderful stadium going forward."
Meanwhile, on the campaign trail seeking a fourth term in the state senate, Rosen holds the stadium agreement as one of her proudest achievements.
"I've been out walking all my 28 parades and people come running out into the street saying thank you very much for working on that stadium," Rosen said. "There are a few naysayers, but very, very few. For the most part people are glad that it is done and we will have a first class facility to be proud of."
While no date has been set for a groundbreaking, the 65,000-seat stadium is expected to be ready for the 2016 season.