The Vikings will play two years at the University of Minnesota’s open-air stadium. Unless it’s three years.
Via Jim Adams of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, a legal challenge to the sale of bonds threatens to significantly delay the project.
“Major problems will result from any significant delay,” Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, said at a Sunday news conference, per Adams. “We will be short $28 million if we are not able to pay our bills [without bond proceeds] … by the end of the month. Architects and Minnesota companies have done work in the past month and submitted bills due at the end of January.”
Kelm-Helgen believes that, if the bond revenue isn’t available by January 23, the project will be delayed by a full year. And while the Metrodome has yet to be dismantled, the day of deflation is only five days away.
A trio of Minneapolis resident have filed the lawsuit, claiming that the sale of bonds violates the law because the repayment will depend in part on the funneling of Minneapolis sales tax revenues without a public vote. The lawsuit apparently makes the arguments that were expected back in 2012 based on an effort to skirt a Minneapolis City Charter provision that requires a referendum for any contribution in excess of $10 million to a sports facility.
The problem for the current lawsuit is that the arguments previously have been made in a different lawsuit, and they’ve failed (pending appeal). The latest legal challenge nevertheless has triggered a decision to delay the bond sale pending what the powers-that-be hope will be an expedited ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court, where one of the justices is Vikings Hall of Fame defensive tackle Alan Page.
Maybe the Vikings are destined to join the Minneapolis Lakers in L.A., after all.