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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Vikings, Minnesota Pay Off Stadium Debt 23 Years Early

  • New tax bill to save Minnesota taxpayers $226 million in interest
  • Consumer embrace of electronic pull-tab games allows for marked acceleration of debt repayment
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings will be able to pay off debt on their publicly owned home stadium 23 years early, thanks to a new tax bill signed by Gov. Tim Walz.

The legislation will retire $377 million in outstanding stadium bonds for Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium by the end of June — wiping out debt scheduled to be paid off in 2046 and saving Minnesota taxpayers $226 million in interest.

The stadium, which opened in 2016 and hosted the NFL’s Super Bowl LII in 2018, cost slightly more than $1.1 billion to build. The Vikings and other private sources paid about $620 million, with the state and city combining to supply around $500 million.

State officials were able to retire the stadium debt after tax revenue from legalized, electronic pull-tab games — a key funding source for the facility’s bonds — soared beyond initial projections.

Lester Bailey, Vikings executive vice president of public affairs, called the decision “great news and the latest chapter in a success story that has benefited Vikings fans, the city of Minneapolis, and the state of Minnesota.”

Progress For The Bears

Meanwhile, the Vikings’ NFC North rivals are moving forward with their own stadium plans. 

On Tuesday, the Chicago Bears started the demolition of Arlington International Racecourse, where the team intends to build a domed stadium. The team sought permission for the demolition earlier this month.

Newly installed Bears president Kevin Warren has a link to both NFC North projects, having led the Vikings during the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium.

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