- Associated Press - Thursday, October 17, 2013

ST. PAUL, MINN. (AP) - The government panel that’s managing construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium made several mistakes related to finances in its first few months of operation, according to a state audit released Thursday.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority came into existence in August 2012 under the legislation that authorized stadium construction. In addition to overseeing that process, the authority also is managing the Metrodome until it is gets torn down to make way for the new facility.

The report from Minnesota’s legislative auditor covers financial operations from August to December 2012. It found that the authority incorrectly classified about $833,000 from the Vikings for stadium construction as operating income, in violation of accepted accounting practices.

The auditor also found that the authority failed to properly verify net profits reports from the vendor that managed concessions at the Metrodome. The report recommended that the authority should periodically verify that the vendor’s underlying revenue and expense records support its reported net profits.

Despite the weaknesses identified, the auditor’s report found that the authority’s financial statements for its first five months “were fairly presented in all material respects.” In response to the audit, authority officials pledged to correct the identified problems.

“We are committed to providing accurate financial reporting information and strive to maintain strong internal controls,” Ted Mondale, the authority’s CEO, wrote to the legislative auditor.

Groundbreaking for the new stadium is planned for November. The Metrodome is to be torn down sometime after the completion of the current Vikings season.

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