You might wonder what’s got Vikings fans all up in arms about the new stadium.
Well, we’ve got your ticket holder survey right here.
The team is still playing its plan pretty close to the vest, so it’s not entirely clear how this market research is proceeding. But according to Melanie and Mark Baumhover, Vikings fans from North St. Paul who still enjoy a few games in her grandfather’s seats, it looks a little like this (click for a larger version).|:
That’s the view, the amenities and the sticker price the Vikings showed Mark Baumhover when he went through the online, web-only survey on behalf of his mother-in-law. (He happened to take a few screen shots as he went through it, and graciously agreed to share them with MPR.)
Melanie’s mom got the seats from her father, civil engineer Jonathan Oster, who bought them when the Vikings came to town. Oster used them for clients. His firm, Oster & Pederson, was a well known engineering firm — they designed the Lowry Hill Tunnel that Interstate 94 runs through.
“They did a lot of bridges in town and the Lowry Hill Tunnel and all of those things that we drive through,” says Melanie, herself an architect. “That is grandpa’s tunnel, we say…. He got the tickets when the Vikings were born.”
The team now plans a venue rebirth, with a new stadium on the site of the Metrodome. The deal the team cut with the state allows the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to sell “stadium builders licenses,” also known as personal seat licenses, to help fund the construction. Back in December 2011, the Vikings told a Senate hearing, including Dayton’s stadium negotiator Ted Mondale, that the average personal seat take for NFL franchises like theirs was $50 million.
Here’s some other views and seat license fees. Note that the prospectus shows shots from New York and San Francisco, as well as what looks like Dallas. It’s also got their PSL fees listed — prices that make the Vikings look like a downright bargain.
Mark Baumhover sounds like he’s not biting.
“Some part of this is a business, and they can set their price, and we as the customer can decide whether we can afford it or want to afford it,” he said of the survey experience. “Although, it stinks for the part of this that isn’t a business. Which is the attachment to a sports team, there is public funding in it. There are other aspects that should factor in, and why they can ask for as much money as they want, but part of that is listening when people squawk or say that we’re not going to be interested.”"
And best of all, the survey has this, a rendering of a private club lounge “unlike anything available in the Minneapolis market today… This luxurious climate-controlled club will be furnished with comfortable couches and armchairs and oversized flat-panel televisions throughout.”
Here’s the rest of the fine, fine print: