With groundbreaking on a new Vikings stadium only weeks away, the state of Minnesota is moving forward with plans to issue the bonds that will be used to cover the public portion of the project.

The Minnesota Department of Management and Budget Monday issued a formal notice, or "request for proposal," seeking bids from financial institutions interested in providing underwriting services for the $498 million public share of the $975 million project.

The Vikings are responsible for $477 million of the stadium's construction cost with the state and city of Minneapolis picking up the rest.

In a written statement, Management and Budget said it plans to solicit proposals "to establish a pool of firms" to serve as senior managing underwriters or co-managing underwriters "in connection with the issue of fixed rate appropriation bonds of the State."

The deadline for proposals is Oct. 9.

An electronic copy of the request for prosposal is available at the Management and Budget website: http://www.mmb.state.mn.us.

The Vikings and Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, which is overseeing stadium construction, are in the final stages of negotiating lease and development agreements. Those agreements are expected to go to the authority board Friday for a vote.

Meanwhile, groundbreaking on the stadium, which is expected to replace the Metrodome in time for the 2016 NFL season, is tentatively planned for early November.

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