Lawsuit Could Halt 'Downtown East' Project Near New Vikings Stadium

Updated: 12/12/2013 1:01 PM By: Jay Kolls

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has obtained a copy of a lawsuit served on the City of Minneapolis earlier Wednesday.

It seeks a temporary injunction to keep the the city to its $150 million contribution limit toward the new Vikings stadium and to stop the city’s action to approve a multi-million dollar development - known as the “Downtown East” project - next to the new stadium.

Two former city council members and the vice-chair of the city’s Audit Committee filed the lawsuit.

The complaint alleges the city violated its charter by approving more than $150 million, when a downtown parking ramp and nine-acre park is included, for a publicly-funded stadium, and that the city cannot legally sell general obligation bonds for a park within the Downtown East project.

The suit says the Minneapolis Park Board only has the authority to sell bonds to establish a city-owned park.

The plaintiffs argue the $65 million financing cost of a parking ramp and nine-acre park next to the new stadium puts the city well over its statutory limit of $150 million toward the new stadium.

Former City Council President Paul Ostrow, former council member Dan Cohen and current Audit Committee Vice-Chair Stephanie Woodruff filed the civil lawsuit. The district court has set an emergency hearing for 9:30 a.m. Thursday.