Governor Mark Dayton today appointed Michael Vekich as chairman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the agency that runs U-S Bank Stadium. This is not the first time the governor has tapped Vekich, a Minneapolis businessman, for a high-profile assignment. He was vice-chair of the Minnesota Ballpark Authority and also interim director of the State Lottery in 2016 and ’17 after Ed Van Petten resigned amid concerns over use of travel funds. This time Vekich takes the helm of the Sports Facilities Authority from former Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz, whom Dayton appointed interim chair to shepherd the agency after the fracas over board members’ families getting free access to luxury suites. Republicans pushed hard to reorganize the Sports Facilities Authority but the measure didn’t survive state budget negotiations.
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