Stadium authority: Vikings can afford their share of the stadium

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is confident that the Vikings can pay their share of the cost of building a new stadium.

Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said the investigation into the owners financial situation, including a "worst case scenario" for damages in a lawsuit against Zygi, Mark and Leonard Wilf, shows the financing is not at risk.

She had this to say after a closed-door meeting of the MSFA this morning:

"At this point, we do have indications that the financial capacity of the team will be sufficient to go ahead to move the project forward. It's not finalized yet. We won't have the report finished until next week, and we're still waiting for some information that has yet to be provided. So it's qualified at this point."

She also said that she expects the team to close its part of the stadium financing, including an NFL loan, by early November. She said once that happens, her agency will be ready to actually break ground on the project, and the state could sell bonds for its part of the deal shortly after.

Kelm-Helgen said the stadium is still on track to open by 2016.

UPDATE: The Vikings offered a brief statement in response this afternoon:

The Vikings are pleased that the stadium project continues to move forward. Our fans deserve - and we are committed to building - a state-of-the-art facility in downtown Minneapolis. The new $975 million stadium will bring thousands of construction and ongoing jobs, along with further economic activity from stadium attendees who will patronize restaurants, bars and retail stores both before and after events.

We continue to believe that the stadium will be built on schedule and will open in time for the 2016 season. The team continues to work collaboratively with the Stadium Authority on the stadium project, and the Authority's comments today are a reflection of our partnership. We will continue to address the design and construction process, and we will work with the Authority to finalize the Use and Development Agreements.

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