Vikes stadium roundup: MN poised to sell bonds; budget tight; Super Bowl 52

Stadium bonds

Minnesota Management and Budget says the line of underwriters looking to help the state sell $498 million in stadium bonds is long: 22 firms have applied, according to the Associated Press:

MMB released the list Thursday. It includes some of the nation’s most prominent banks and financial institutions, including U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Securities, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

A spokesman says Management and Budget will take a few weeks to select an underwriter. More than one firm could be chosen. He says no firm date has been set for issuance of the bonds, which will be executed over a period of about two years.

The state is splitting the cost with the Vikings, who will pay about $477 million up front to build the new stadium. Their financing is expected to close on November 1.

Stadium officials say that once the Vikings have their financial house in order, the state will start selling its bonds, and could break ground in mid November.

Tight stadium budget

The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Richard Meryhew says stadium builders are already chafing at that maximum price for a new stadium set by the state. He runs down the list of corners the project has already had to cut to keep the project affordable, like downsizing the operable doors, skipping some escalators and other features.

The development agreement between the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Vikings, though, has a $13 million cash cushion built in, and the two sides have an agreement to add that back into the project, a little at a time, if it looks like the total cost won’t go over $988 million.

Super Bowl economics

Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak says that the prospect of bringing a Super Bowl to his city in 2018 redeems his promise that the city’s investment in a new Vikings stadium will pay off. Minneapolis is chipping in service on about $150 million in debt for the project.

Here’s the return, Rybak says:

When Indianapolis hosted the Super Bowl, it had about $300 million of economic impact. It brought in about  $75 million in tax receipts, and they couple that to about 5,000 jobs. You can never be exact with those things. But the fact of the matter is in a hospitality industry that already has a billion dollar payroll in Minneapolis and St. Paul, this is going to have a huge, huge impact.

The city and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority are passing around a study with those numbers, conducted by Rockport Analytics for the Indiana Sports Corporation: