The Vikings got a significant boost on their path to a new stadium at the NFL owners' meetings this week, when the league approved them for a $200 million loan as part of the $477 million the team will contribute toward the facility.

The loan, the maximum amount the league will give a team building a new stadium, will be paid back over the next 15 years, with some of the money coming through visiting teams' share of club seat revenue in the new stadium. The Vikings expect the entire facility to cost $975 million.

"It's a big step forward," Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said Tuesday, March 19. "It's great news for the project. It's great news for Vikings fans, and it's great news for the state."

The Vikings expect to break ground this fall on the new stadium, which will be on the site of the Metrodome. Current plans call for the team to play the 2013 season in the Metrodome, move to TCF Bank Stadium for the 2014 and 2015 seasons and be in its new home by 2016.

Bagley said the team is still working on an agreement with the University of Minnesota to govern the Vikings' two seasons at TCF Bank Stadium. Plans for improvements to the facility -- which include temporary seating in the west end zone and a possible addition of an underground heating system for the field -- won't be implemented until the agreement is in place.