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State completes sale of stadium bonds

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: January 28, 2014 - 2:31 PM

The public money needed to build the Vikings stadium is finally lined up.

After a brief delay due to a lawsuit, the state budget office announced Tuesday that it had completed the sale of $462 million in bonds to finance the nearly $1 billion stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The debt will be repaid through a combination of state and city dollars.

The public portion of the stadium cost is $498 million, but the bond total is lower because of premiums paid by investors. The Vikings' share is $477 million.

"It was a good day to be selling bonds," said Kristin Hanson, the state's assistant secretary for treasury and debt management. The sale is expected to close sometime this week.

The interest rate on the bonds, which are both tax-exempt and taxable, is 4.27 percent. They were rated AA by Standard & Poors and Fitch.

The bonds were originally slated to be sold earlier this month, but Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter called off the sale after a last-minute legal challenge from local activist Doug Mann. The Minnesota Supreme Court tossed the suit last week.

Minneapolis will repay the debt with a suite of hospitality taxes that are currently paying down bonds on the city's convention center. The state's share is covered by a one-time tax on existing tobacco inventories and ending a corporate tax break, as well as revenues from electronic gambling.

Construction is already underway at the Metrodome site, where the new stadium will be built.

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