Audit: Stadium Authority's financials OK, with 'some weaknesses'

  • Article by: JENNA ROSS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 17, 2013 - 10:55 PM

But legislative auditor says stadium overseer needs better internal controls after $833,000 from Vikings is misclassified.

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Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chair Michele Kelm-Helgen. Friday, August 23, 2013

Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

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The first batch of financial statements from the public authority overseeing the construction of the new Vikings stadium was “fairly presented,” an audit released Thursday found.

But the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority “had some weaknesses in internal controls,” according to the report, by the Office of the Legislative Auditor.

It “incorrectly classified” about $833,000 for planning the construction of the new football stadium as operating revenue and expenses. In its report, the auditor argued that those funds, received from the Vikings, should have been labeled nonoperating activity.

That’s a “significant deficiency,” the report said.

“Which means that if it’s not corrected, it has the potential to materially misstate the financial statements,” said Cecile Ferkul, deputy legislative auditor. In coming years, dollars spent on planning and construction will grow, she added. “It’s important to get good accounting established right out of the gate.”

The authority also failed to verify the net profits reported by its concession vendor, according to the report.

In its response, the authority agreed with the auditor’s recommendations. For future years, the authority will review its policies to “determine whether construction of the new stadium is part of our principal operations” and ought to be classified as operating activity.

The legislative auditor reviewed the authority’s first five months of statements from August 2012, when it took over the operation of the Metrodome from the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission.

 

Jenna Ross • 612-673-7168

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