Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority

Recent Articles

A reappointment that is a mistake

Velma Korbel to again head Dept. of Civil Rights
 

Velma Korbel’s reappointment by newly elected Mayor Betsy Hodges to continue as Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) director is a huge mistake that nonetheless exposes the city culture we have long reported: that city government, regardless of who is in charge, is a culture opposed to diversity (the silence on this by the DFL, churches, foundations, and Black nonprofits places them in the same culture). Shamefully, leading Black organizations participate in this culture as they compete for their share of the spoils at the expense of those they are supposed to serve and represent. Velma Korbel’s reappointment continues a departmental disaster going back through two permanent directors and one interim director. The African American community will continue to be ill served as seen by the 99 percent White work force of the Vikings stadium. Continue Reading →

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Significant economic surge for the Black community by Sports Authority?

Or manipulation of numbers to conceal few Black workers?  
A week ago, at the meeting of the Stadium Equity Committee, created by the stadium authorizing legislation, Alex Tittle, director of equity for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) reported that “hours” — not persons — in the workforce would be how the 34 percent minority workers on the stadium doctrine would be counted. Thirty-four percent was advanced almost two years ago by State Human Rights Commissioner, Kevin Lindsay and put into the legislation. The euphoria was understandable. The disappointment and disillusion today is just as understandable. Continue Reading →

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NAACP activates legal strategy

 

 

 

 

 

 
Local branch joins Doug Mann in Sports Authority law suit
 

One of the traditional strengths of the NAACP movement has been its shrewd planning for taking legal action against those violating rights of African Americans. When you think of the successes of NAACP legal redress committees, you think of such leaders as Walter White, Roy Wilkens and Thurgood Marshall, as well as such historic actions and legal milestones as the 1954 decision of Brown vs. Board of Education and Martin Luther King’s 1968 Poor Peoples March. The legal redress committee, a historic pillar of strength of NAACP branches across America fighting for African American civil rights, is seen once again in the local NAACP branch’s crafty move on the legal front to join the suit of long time NAACP member Doug Mann against the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) for its failure to meet its diversity pledge. With the appointment of long time local branch NAACP supporter Louis King to its executive committee, the trap door has been slammed shut on the MSFA. Continue Reading →

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Hallelujah: the project begins

Constructing the new Peoples’ Stadium
 
Hallelujah! The great occasion of the beginning of construction preparedness and building of the Peoples’ Stadium arrived: December 2, 2013. “Mission accomplished” or another December day in infamy? “Success” is to be measured by the language of promises and guarantees in the stadium legislation and by the pronouncements of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA). Promised: full participation of all Minnesota’s citizens:

• Nothing but Minnesota workers on the stadium

• All steel produced in the United States, preferably from Northern MN’s Iron Range

• No cost overruns

• Equity Plan and Diversity Plan for Minnesota’s minorities and communities of color. Continue Reading →

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Mr. Bellecourt is right!

‘Redskins’ controversy heats up again
 
This column identifies with, respects and supports Clyde Bellecourt’s request to NFL, Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, don’t use “Redskins,” even if the NFL does. We stand in unity against racism, for far too long a part of the American and Minnesota landscapes. The Jewish owner of the Washington NFL team, Dan Snyder, is doing one of three things: (1) carrying on the racist legacy of George Preston Marshall’s ghost, (2) being tone deaf to fans who understand how racist it is, or (3) at first didn’t know but now knows and doesn’t care, an example of both #1 and #2. This is a wake-up call to racism deniers: foul racism still exists. George Preston Marshall, the owner who gave the team its name in 1932, was a leader in the NFL movement that officially banned Blacks, league wide, in 1933, a ban not lifted until 1947. Continue Reading →

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Will Blacks finally get a fair share of work on this stadium?

Chair of stadium authority raises serious questions about past inclusion
 

Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), who oversees design and construction of the Vikings’ “People’s Stadium,” told Minnesota Public Radio in an interview on February 8 that serious questions have been raised about the Equity Plan implementation passed by the MSFA that same day. Three City-commissioned studies by two separate research groups support Chairwoman Kelm-Helgen’s observations. The last study was issued on May 15, 2012, by NERA (National Economic Research Associates) at a cost to Minneapolis of $500,000. These studies expose the City’s serious and purposeful noncompliance with Minority and Women Business Enterprises (M/WBE) utilization requirements. NERA’s report provided evidence that supports the investigative reporting in this column for a decade. Continue Reading →

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Let the games begin: the selection of stadium construction manager — Fraser, Davis and Tomlin: quota guys in the NFL?

 

The push-Black-Americans-in-football-to-the-back-of-the-bus games have begun, raising “Blacks need not apply” signs not only for stadium construction jobs but also NFL team head-coaching jobs. This is not about quotas. It is about statistical probabilities not being met due to intentional skewing out of contention a specific group of people. In this case, Black American workers, whether on stadiums or on stadium-field sidelines. On or about February 1, the Sports Facilities Authority will select a Vikings’ stadium construction manager. Continue Reading →

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Sports Authority Legislative Report, with Unequal Equity Plan, sent to legislature

It is an unintended but very real sad irony of history that on the birth date of Martin Luther King, Jr., January 15, the Vikings, the NFL, and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) sent its first annual report to the state legislature carrying the message that there may be some room in the People’s Stadium construction bus, but only in the back, a Minnesota refrain I’ve steadily warned about since 2005. Our community has not believed. Will they now? On page six of the MSFA report to the legislature, we can see how the MSFA blindsided Commissioner Kevin Lindsay and the African American leadership of Minnesota. The highly touted, well-publicized PR charade of 32 percent minority participation evaporated. Continue Reading →

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Vikings stadium officials promise 32 percent diversity hiring!

But no one seems to have a copy of the equity plan 
 

 

At a small, special meeting I attended at the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) Wednesday, October 10 that included MSFA Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen and Executive Director Ted Mondale, we discussed the so-far nonexistent equity plan for the Vikings stadium that would include African American contractors and workers. The Met Council people present said there was one, online. We noted that is just not true. During the meeting we were told that 32 percent of the hours in stadium construction in the eventual plan will go to minorities and women. Really? Continue Reading →

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Taxation without representation

Force of contract law needed to ensure Black contractors/workers for stadium
 

 

Action: $34 million contract awarded September 28, 2012, by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (FSFA) and the Minnesota Vikings, their largest stadium contract to date, to HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, Dallas, Texas (they did stadiums for the Colts and Cowboys). My concern is not the sucking sound of Minnesota money being deposited in Texas banks: Money follows expertise, not geography, and Minnesota has not kept up. Concern: as of this writing, still no stadium equity plan as called for in stadium legislation. When I talked with HKS people at their exhibit at the Metrodome, September 7, 2012, I asked them if they used minority subcontractors. They said yes. Continue Reading →

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