The Minnesota Vikings has been granted a $200 million loan from the National Football League to put towards the cost of a new $975 million downtown stadium in Minneapolis.

The NFL's 32 owners voted in favour of agreeing the loan from the league's stadium fund to help finance the project, after the Vikings last year agreed with state and local government officials on a deal for taxpayers to pay about $498 million.

“This significant portion of financing is a major step forward for the stadium project,” said Jeff Anderson, a spokesman for the Vikings. “We’re thrilled to have the NFL’s full confidence and support.”

The state will contribute about $348 million of the building costs, using gambling money. The city will redirect $150 million from existing convention center and tourism taxes to build the stadium and about $7.5 million a year to run it.

The Vikings agreed to pay $477 million, including the $200 million from the NFL, for construction costs and about $13 million a year for operating and capital expenses at the stadium, which will be built on the site of the Metrodome.

The loan will be repaid from a portion of premium-seat revenue at the new stadium.

Construction work is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of this year and be completed in time for the 2016 NFL season.

Posted on 20/03/2013