EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- What follows in this post about the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium is largely financial minutiae, but the details provide another sign that stadium plans are moving forward on sound financial footing after the hand-wringing over the Wilf family's finances -- and the attendant delays in stadium progress -- this fall.
The Vikings announced on Friday that the Wilfs are committing an additional $41.4 million to the stadium project, assuming $15 million of the costs for playing the next two years at TCF Bank Stadium, and establishing a $26.4 million contingency fund in the event the $975 million project runs over budget. Essentially, the stadium is guaranteed to be funded up to $1.001 billion at this point, with the team responsible for any other cost overruns. And the $15 million the Vikings were scheduled to get from the state of Minnesota for playing the next two seasons on the University of Minnesota campus will now pay for construction costs instead of offsetting the team's bottom line.
The Vikings had previously announced a $13.1 million line of credit, and added $13.3 million on Friday, as the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority approved the construction costs of the stadium. The team is scheduled to break ground on the new stadium on Dec. 3 (though exactly how ground will be broken on the site of an existing stadium in sub-freezing temperatures would still seem to be up for some debate). But when that ceremony happens, the Vikings and the MSFA will have cleared much of the financial clutter out of the way beforehand.