Top Dayton aide to lead Vikings stadium authorityby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A top aide to Gov. Mark Dayton has been named to oversee construction of a $975 million Vikings stadium as head of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.
Dayton on Thursday appointed Michele Kelm-Helgen, his deputy chief of staff, as the panel's chairwoman. She also served as Dayton's liaison to the Legislature.
Kelm-Hagen is a former Chanhassen school board member and lobbyist. She will resign her position in Dayton's office to accept the appointment.
Dayton also appointed John Griffith, Target Corp.'s vice president for property development, and Duane Benson, former State Senate Republican leader and former director of the Minnesota Business Partnership.
Benson is also a board member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, and played professional football in the NFL for 11 seasons.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak chose two members: Bill McCarthy, president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation; and Dr. Barbara Butts Williams, a dean at Capella University.
Butts Williams served on the Metropolitan Council in the 1990s. Her husband, John Williams, is also a former NFL player.
The authority oversees a public investment of nearly $500 million in the stadium, which will be built on the Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis.
The authority has the option of overseeing the construction project and will operate the new stadium for other uses ranging from concerts to high school sports.
The authority replaces with Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which has owned and operated the Metrodome since 1977.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
- All Things Considered, 06/14/2012, 5:20 p.m.