|Financial Audit Division||Released November, 2019|
The 2012 legislation that authorized financing for a new Vikings stadium (now called the US Bank Stadium) provided for a reserve account and how the account could be used.
Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) is the agency primarily responsible for the US Bank Stadium Reserve Account. MMB tracks the available revenues, stadium-related expenditures, and the reserve balance. If revenues fall short of amounts needed to pay expenditures, state law requires MMB to consult with the Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy (LCPFP) before using any portion of the reserve.
The Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) conducted this selected scope audit to determine whether MMB complied with significant finance-related legal requirements over the account. The audit scope included MMB’s ongoing computation of the stadium reserve account balance. OLA also examined use of the reserve account to pay down US Bank Stadium debt and make other required expenditures. The period under examination went from July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2018.
OLA initiated this audit in response to a complaint made to a legislator about the US Bank Stadium Reserve Account. Specifically, the complaint alleged that MMB improperly transferred $20 million from the stadium reserve account. OLA found no basis to substantiate that allegation.
MMB complied with significant finance-related legal requirements over the US Bank Stadium Reserve Account. MMB complied with finance-related legal requirements that outline the sources and amounts of revenue that must go into the US Bank Stadium Reserve Account. MMB also complied with legal provisions that govern debt service payments and other uses of stadium-related funds.
Though MMB complied with significant finance-related legal requirements, OLA recommends that the Legislature take a more active oversight role in this extremely complex area, which is expected to grow by $149 million over the next five years.
Finding 1. Complex US Bank Stadium Reserve Account funding and spending decisions merit more legislative attention.