SBD/August 17, 2012/Franchises

Vikings Become Fourth Team To Opt In To NFL's New Blackout Policy

The Vikings will have home games “blacked out on television this season evaporated when the team announced Thursday that it will reduce its blackout threshold to 90 percent of capacity,” according to the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. That means it will “have to sell around 6,000 fewer seats at home games to avoid a blackout” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/17). In St. Paul, Brian Murphy notes despite a “144-game sellout streak dating to 1997, the Vikings reduced sellout capacity by 6,000 seats." The team joins the Raiders, Dolphins and Buccaneers "in lowering benchmarks" to avoid blackouts this season." More important to co-Owners Zygi and Mark Wilf, the move “most likely assures their team will be on television all season as it prepares to sell premium seating at a new stadium to be built with $500 million in public subsidies” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 8/17). PRO FOOTBALL TALK’s Mike Florio wrote while only four teams so far have “embraced the changes to the blackout rule,” several other teams “potentially falling within the blackout red zone have said they won’t be reducing their sales targets, including the Chargers, Bengals, Jaguars, and Colts.” The Rams are “one of the few remaining teams that have had trouble moving tickets.” It is “unclear whether the Rams will be able to keep their secret, if they indeed have embraced a reduced sales minimum” (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 8/16).
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