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Volume 24 No. 158


A Minnesota official overseeing the new Vikings stadium on Friday said that she "expects personal seat licenses to be priced in line with fees charged at the Twins' Target Field and the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium -- if the team pursues the fees to help pay its share of the $975 million construction cost," according to Martiga Lohn of the AP. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen, whose organization signs off on major stadium decisions as it is being built, said that the authority and Vikings will "work together on seat fees." Kelm-Helgen said, "What people were reacting to is $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 a seat. If they had that in their mind vs. something in the thousands perhaps." She added, "Our frame of reference has been things like at the Twins stadium and the Gophers' TCF Stadium." The Twins "charged $1,000 to $2,000 on a small number of premium seats at Target Field" while UM "charges season ticket buyers at TCF Stadium an annual fee of $100 to $500" (AP, 11/16). In Minneapolis, Lee Schafer writes it was "a little painful to watch the Wilfs ... get pounded last week for simply using basic business common sense." What the Vikings owners "are pursuing is not some sort of East Coast sharp-elbows trick of real estate tycoons." It is "common sense, the kind of thing the owners of a rental duplex would get in five seconds." Financing the deal "by using cash flow from the deal." Schafer wrote, "At least try them." Schafer: "I am not sure how a governor makes a big issue out of a situation one week and then quietly drops his objections later, but that is what should happen here" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/18).