A new document reveals that more than $30,000 worth of food was consumed in two state-owned suites at Minnesota Vikings games and other events that took place at U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016.
Despite the Minnesota Vikings not always giving their home fans at U.S. Bank Stadium their money’s worth during the recent 2016 NFL season, a number of occupants in some of the stadium’s luxury suites reportedly enjoyed themselves during this year’s games thanks to the wallets of taxpayers in the state of Minnesota.
Oct 9, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The Minnesota Vikings play the Houston Texans in a wide view of U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
According to a report by the Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson, members the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority provided free accommodations to family and friends during a number of events that have taken place since the stadium opened its doors back in August of 2016. Among the amenities that the guests of these suites enjoyed free of cost during the year were tickets, food, and parking passes.
The cost of the food alone amounted to $32,120 in 2016, all courtesy of Minnesota’s taxpayers.
According to the MSFA, these free accommodations were provided to guests in an effort tomarket the rest of what the stadium has to offer. If this is truly the case, a simple tour would have probably been just fine.
While this seems like a simple organization just reaping the benefits of a facility they helped construct, the main issue lies on whether or not the MSFA violated any state laws by using the luxury suites in the form of a gift.
A number of people who were given access to these suites this year have already reimbursed the MSFA to cover the costs of their attendance and a reported $22,790 has been collected so far. In December, the MFSA announced that family and friends would no longer have access to the two stadium suites owned by the organization.