State Official Responds To Lawsuit Delaying Stadium Bonds

Jim Schowalter, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget, called a recent lawsuit "an archetypal case of bad-faith laches."

The debate continues over a recently filed lawsuit that could delay the timeline for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Former Minneapolis mayoral candidate Doug Mann, along with two others, recently filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s stadium funding plan, according to media reports. The move has already delayed a planned $468 million bond sale. (Read more about the delay in the Star Tribune here.)

Now the state has joined the debate. On Tuesday afternoon, Jim Schowalter, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget, responded in a legal filing that the lawsuit is “an archetypal case of bad-faith laches.”

He pointed out that the petitioners waited nearly two years after the passage of the Vikings stadium bill and filed their lawsuit just two business days before the important bond sale. Schowalter also said that the Minnesota Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction over the claims. He requested that the lawsuit be dismissed.

View Schowalter's full response here. (If it doesn't display properly in your browser, download and re-open the file.)

Stadium officials are also fighting the lawsuit. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority's chairwoman responded by saying that the delay could not only push back the stadium project's planned 2016 opening but also could jeopardize Ryan Companies’ planned $400 million Downtown East project.

On Monday, the MSFA asked Minnesota's Supreme Court to make the plaintiffs post a $50 million bond to show they could cover damages if they lose, according to a WCCO report.