Many stadiums, one roof

Lawmakers should create a single agency to deal with all stadium issues.

Daily Editorial Board

MinnesotaâÄôs stadium tab is growing. In addition to the VikingsâÄô stadium financing request, the Timberwolves want a Target Center renovation, the St. Paul Saints desire a new ballpark, and the city of St. Paul is asking the state for help in retiring the debt it incurred building the Xcel Energy Center.

Ted Mondale âÄî head of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission âÄî is floating a novel idea: Combine all the stateâÄôs stadiums under the umbrella of one agency complete with taxing authority. The plan would streamline all stadium projects and would hopefully lead to increased collaboration between the teams in the future.

There is currently little cooperation between the stadium authorities in Minnesota. The MSFC owns and operates the Metrodome and has played a significant role in repairing its roof and helping with the VikingsâÄô stadium requests. The TwinsâÄô Target Field is operated by the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, which is in charge of the taxes Hennepin County levied to build the stadium. The Target Center is partially owned by the city of Minneapolis, and St. Paul operates the Xcel Energy Center. ItâÄôs a mess.

The process teams go through to request funds for renovations is disjointed and muddled. MondaleâÄôs plan would establish a clearer and simpler process that sports teams could follow when they need those funds. Streamlining the process makes each request easier for teams and lawmakers alike.

If MondaleâÄôs proposed commission is efficient, transparent and representative of both the teams and the public at large, it would be beneficial to all parties and should be created as soon as possible.