Stadium bond sales expected Monday

  • Article by: JANET MOORE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 25, 2014 - 12:56 AM

AA rating reflects the state’s stable, “broad-based economy.”

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The roof of the Minnesota Vikings' Metrodome is deflated Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 in downtown Minneapolis. The deflation and the demolition of the Dome beginning next week will make way for construction of a new $1 billion Vikings stadium.

Photo: Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

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The state expects to begin selling bonds for the new $1 billion Vikings stadium on Monday, two weeks after the original sale date.

The delay is due to a last-minute legal challenge filed on Jan. 10 before the Minnesota Supreme Court by three Minneapolis residents who claimed the funding mechanism for the stadium was unconstitutional. Due to the legal uncertainty, the state pulled back on plans to sell $468 million in general fund appropriation bonds in the days following the challenge.

But on Tuesday, the Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit filed by former Minneapolis mayoral candidate Douglas Mann, his wife, Linda, and onetime city school board member David Tilsen, clearing the way for the bond sale to move forward.

John Pollard, spokesman for Minnesota Management & Budget, confirmed that the sale is expected to go through on Monday.

Earlier this month, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said the legal challenge did not affect the state’s AA-stable bond rating. On Jan. 8, Fitch Ratings gave the bonds an AA rating, with a stable outlook.

In its report, Fitch cited Minnesota’s “solid debt structure, a broad-based economy with above-average wealth levels, and a track record of management that is sensitive to changes in the state’s fiscal environment.”

While the bond sale was delayed, construction continued on the new stadium, which will be on the Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis.

Last Saturday, the Dome’s roof was deflated, and demolition of the concrete bowl of the stadium began on the eastern side of the building. The stadium is still expected to open in July 2016.

Janet Moore • 612-673-7752

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