MINNEAPOLIS -- It was the end of a long week, but the Minnesota Vikings jumped over another hurdle on their quest for a November groundbreaking for a new stadium in downtown Minneapolis.
After one year of research, the Minneapolis Stadium Implementation Committee approved the stadium plan. On Friday, the full council unanimously approved the committee's recommendation.
"(Friday) was a great step forward," said Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley, who was present for the council's vote.
The next question remains getting an agreement with the state as the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority sifts through the finances of the Vikings' owners.
"This time last week we really didn't have any of the information that we needed for due diligence," MFSA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said following the city council vote.
That changed on Tuesday when the Vikings handed over the necessary records.
"We believe that the result will show that regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit in New Jersey, the Vikings and the Wilf family have the wherewithal to live up to their obligations on the stadium project," Bagley explained to reporters.
Kelm-Helgen says the financial review is flying along five days ahead of schedule and they hope to wrap it up in a week and a half. Bagley says construction and design conversations continue, but Kelm-Helgen is worried that the two sides are not negotiating on lease and financing agreements.
"There remain some pretty significant differences of opinion and I just don't want that to delay things," she said.
Meanwhile, the MFSA filed paperwork in Hennepin County court in response to a lawsuit filed by Minneapolis Venture over the use and value of the plaza in front of the stadium.
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