Vikings Stadium Bond Sale Delayed Again

Updated: 08/01/2013 10:25 PM By: Tom Hauser

Plans to put state bonds on sale this month to finance the state's portion of the Vikings stadium have been put on hold. The sale will now likely take place in September.

Stadium authority officials and a spokesman for the Minnesota Office of Management and Budget say the move won't jeopardize the stadium construction schedule. 

"August was only an estimate," according to Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. "It was never anything that was firmly needed or agreed to."

Initially, the plan was to begin selling bonds in March to raise the state's $348 million portion of the Vikings stadium financing.  

When it became apparent e-pulltab revenue was falling woefully short of projections, state officials said in March they would put off the bond sale until August after alternative funding sources were identified.  

E-pulltabs were the original primary revenue source to pay off the bonds. Now the state is also counting on revenue from a one-time tax on cigarette wholesalers and retailers that was imposed in July and the closing of a corporate tax loophole.  

Stadium authority officials say the construction schedule is not in jeopardy because the Vikings are on the hook for the first $50 million in construction costs.

The state doesn't have to kick in the next $50 million until the initial Vikings funds are used.  However, Kelm-Helgen says they'd like to have the state bond sale underway before a stadium groundbreaking. 

"Before we break any ground we'll make sure that the bonds are in place or that the bond sale is out there and moving and also that the Vikings have their final funding put together as well."

A state bond sale will still happen in August, but a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget, John Pollard, says those will be for projects unrelated to the Vikings stadium.