It hasn't been played yet, but one winner of the Vikings and Bears game Monday night can already be safely predicted, at least financially speaking: the restaurants and bars around the University of Minnesota.
But they might be the only stakeholder in the black when all is said and done. The University of Minnesota will likely break even, a sport management professor said, and the Vikings are planning on losing money.
The game was moved from the Metrodome to the university's TCF Bank Stadium after the teflon roof of the Vikings' home stadium collapsed under the weight of 17 inches of snow on Sunday, Dec. 12.
Once the snow was cleared at TCF Bank Stadium, crews got to work changing the markings on the field -- transforming it from a college to an NFL playing surface.
University of Minnesota Associate Athletic Director Scott Ellison watched the work and remarked on how when the Metrodome fell, the old college football spirit came to the rescue.
"Lot of pride here, not only for the athletic department but for the entire University of Minnesota campus," he said. "Somebody said they saw something in London concerning this game. So it's everywhere; it's worldwide right now and the exposure for the University of Minnesota and Minnesota in general is great."
But what about the big money that usually comes along with an NFL game?
"We're going to make some money -- concession revenue is ours, parking is ours," Ellison said.
“It's just a matter of how much of a negative it is.”Scott LaCroix from the Vikings
So will that money be anywhere close to what's usually made at the Metrodome?
"Ah, no," said Bill Lester, executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which runs the Metrodome.
He said sales of beer and mixed drinks usually bring in a big share of the overall revenue from a Vikings game. University authorities though, won't allow alcohol sales Monday.
Lester said there's always a silver lining.
"They're going to do better on hot chocolate," Lester said. "We don't sell hot chocolate."
Merchandise will be for sale. The Vikings have made up some commemorative items for fans who want memorabilia of the unique game, but the money from those sales will be divided up between many parties.
Parking shouldn't be that much of a boon for the university either. University of Minnesota spokesman Dan Wolter said there are going to be about 9,000 parking spaces available in school ramps.
"Event parking for this will be $20. Which I believe is comparable is what they've got down by the Metrodome," Wolter said. "That is comparable as well to what we have for Gopher game day."
Overall, Wolter says it usually takes about a $250,000 to get the university's stadium ready for a game. This time the preparations cost a lot more -- Wolter estimates 1,500 people worked to get the stadium ready. The Vikings say they'll pay for snow removal and cleanup, but Wolter wasn't sure yesterday whether an actual contract had been signed yet.
"I think there are actually some discussions going on as to whether there'll be a rent fee in addition to the expenses and things like that, but I don't think that's been finalized yet," Wolter said.
Wolter said the university isn't in it for the money, and that's probably good, because University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Sport Management Stephen Ross said the game will probably be a wash for the school.
"It's just an extra football game. And if you look at a lot of the Gopher games were not sold out. So it's probably making up for a lot of revenue where they could have sold a lot more seats at TCF," Ross said.
The Vikings are already counting on being losers -- at least money-wise, said Steve LaCroix, the club's vice president of sales/marketing and chief marketing officer.
"It's not going to be a positive by any means," LaCroix said. "It's just a matter of how much of a negative it is and how that's really calculated and fleshed out in the coming weeks. But that's going to take some significant time to get our arms around all the different things that have gone into this."
But there will be winners -- the nearby restaurants that will be full on a Monday night when they usually wouldn't be. Meegen Carra, a supervisor at the Big Ten Restaurant and Bar, said they are planning on a busy day.
"They sell out the Metrodome every time and those people get pretty crazy," Carra said. "I can't imagine they're going to stop doing that."
Still, though, it's not like the restaurant can expand for the occasion.
"At some point it just sort of like maxes out a little bit," Carra said. "There are only so many parking spots and so many seats in the restaurant."
And there are only so many seat in the stadium. Vikings officials aren't saying how many fans sent their tickets back for a refund, but they say the math adds up. Even though the Gopher's stadium has 13,000 fewer seats than the Metrodome, team officials say they're confident everyone who shows up with a ticket will be able to see the game.