Plans to charge a new seat fee to most Vikings stadium patrons came into a little sharper focus today.
The team and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority struck a $125 million deal to sell personal seat licenses to fans in the new Vikings stadium, set to open in 2016. The MSFA says $100 million earned by seat licenses go toward the Vikings' $503 million share of construction costs.
The parameters of the deal remain unchanged from an October agreement: prices are less than $10,000 a seat, and cost as little as $500 each. The average price remains $2,500. Three out of four seats will require a seat license, which means about 12,000 tickets will be available without a so-called "Stadium Builder License" from the Vikings.
Vikings marketing director Steve LaCroix defended the license fees today, saying the added cost reflected a sea change from the stadium the Vikings played in for the last three decades, and that it was going to cost more for the upgrade.
"The Dome was literally two seating bowls that were 360 degrees, and no amenity tied to it. And it had two concourses, and it was all about the yard line. It was all about, are you upper level or lower level, and what yard line are you on. Now we're seven different levels, a lot of different opportunities, whether they're club or non club. I think once the fans, when they come into the preview center, or season ticket owners come and see all the different options, it's not just about what yard line you're sitting on, it's more, what kind of a fan experience do you want to have on game day."
Other details from the program for the 65,400 seat stadium:
49,500 seats will have licenses
More than 2,300 seats will have a $500 seat license
10,000 seats will be priced at $1,000 or less
41,000 seats have an average price of less than $2,000
80 percent of seat licenses will cost $3,000 or less
89 percent of seat licenses will cost less than $5,000
Only 2,400 seats will have a license over $7,000
Seat licenses for club seats, with access to exclusive lounges and other amenities, will average $5,300
Seat licenses are only for Vikings homes games, no other events
Seat licenses will not apply to the Super Bowl, even if the Vikings are playing in it
Fans can pay in installments, with 1/3 due at signing, 1/3 on July 1, 2015 and 1/3 on July 1, 2016
Financing at "market interest rates" can be extended through 2021
The Vikings will have a sales center, complete with a set of model suites and stands, in the 1010 Metrodome Square building, 1010 7th St in Minneapolis. Over the next few weeks, team marketing staff will begin taking orders and working their way through the list of fans that now hold 53,000 season tickets.