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Sports Facilities Authority asks to intervene in stadium lawsuit

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The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority wants to get in on a lawsuit that could delay construction of a new home for the Vikings.

The Associated Press reports the authority filed paperwork Monday asking to intervene in the suit, which has already led state officials to postpone the sale of $468 million in bonds. The AP says the authority also argued Monday that the plaintiffs should have to post a $50 million bond to show they could cover the cost of damages if they lose the case.

Finance & Commerce reports such a bond would also protect the Sports Facilities Authority from losses caused by a delay in the project.

The authority's chairwoman said on Sunday that if the lawsuit is not resolved soon, it could threaten the construction timeline for the new Minneapolis stadium, which is scheduled to open in time for the 2016 football season. Michele Kelm-Helgen says a significant delay could also threaten a planned $400 million real estate development known as Downtown East.

The lawsuit filed by three plaintiffs, including former Minneapolis mayoral candidate Doug Mann, argues that the bond sale would be unconstitutional and that city residents should have been allowed to vote in a referendum on whether to raise their sales tax for the project.

Kelm-Helgen tells the Star Tribune that intervening in the suit would allow the Sports Facilities Authority to provide information about the project to the court.

The Pioneer Press reports there's been no indication from the state Supreme Court about when the case might be resolved. The newspaper says Minneapolis has until Jan. 21 to respond to the suit, which was filed Friday. Kelm-Helgen said Sunday the authority would need bond proceeds by Jan. 23 in order to pay $28 million in bills that will come due at the end of the month.

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