MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - A Minneapolis City Council candidate is suing the city, park board, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Minnesota Vikings over what he claims is a misuse of the park outside U.S. Bank Stadium.
John Hayden, an independent candidate for Ward 1, says the City of Minneapolis is violating the city’s charter by continuing to operate the park, called “The Commons,” themselves instead the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and allowing the Vikings to use the space rent-free on game days.
In 2013, a Hennepin County judge ruled the Park Board had the “exclusive authority” to operate and maintain the Commons and the city should turn the operation of the park over to the board, according to the park board. If they fail to do so, the Park Board could take the issue back to court.
“Everyone knows the charter was completely trampled in order to block Minneapolis residents from voting on a stadium that will cost our city nearly $1 billion,” Hayden said in a statement. “Few realize, however, that the charter was also ignored in order to provide the Vikings with revenue-generating open space rent-free, despite objections from the MPRB."
The mayor’s proposed budget allocates $750,000 to the operation of the Commons, taxpayer money which Hayden says could be better spent on neighborhood economic development, arts and equity investments.