Vikings Will Assess One-Time PSL Fees On 75% Of Seats In New Stadium
The Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority on Thursday approved an agreement that will see a one-time PSL fee assessed on 75% of the seats at the team's new 65,000-seat stadium, "charging season-ticket holders anywhere from $500 to $10,000" depending on the location, according to a front-page piece by Richard Meryhew of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The remainder of the seats, "including some held by season-ticket holders, would not carry such fees." The deal came as part of the stadium lease and development agreements passed by the MSFA, and the agreements "commit the Vikings to downtown Minneapolis for the next 30 years while spelling out details of how the team and the authority will split stadium operating costs and revenues." About 80% of the seats where fees apply "will be charged $3,000 or less" and seat owners "have up to three years to pay the fee without interest." The fees are "projected to generate" $100M of the $477M the Vikings are expected to pay for construction, with the state and the city of Minneapolis "picking up the rest." PSL fees have been used by 17 of the NFL's 32 franchises. The MSFA's approval of the agreements "paves the way for construction to begin this fall." MSFA Chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said that groundbreaking is "planned for mid-November." The lease agreement "calls for the team to rent space for 30 years with an option to renew for up to an additional 20 years." The Vikings will pay the authority $8.5M annually in rent and $1.5M annually for "capital improvements." They also will "pay all gameday expenses" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/4).
WHO GETS WHAT? In St. Paul, Doug Belden in a front-page piece reports the Vikings under the deal "retain the revenues from naming rights." Estimates for naming rights "have ranged" from $4.5-7.5M per year, or $135-225M over 30 years. Team officials on Thursday said that they are "considering a variety of potential naming-rights partners." Under the deal, the authority gets revenue "from advertising, rental of club/event spaces, concessions at authority events," and revenue "from groups touring the stadium." The Vikings get revenue "from naming rights for the stadium and plaza," plus concessions and ticket sales for team events. They also get advertising and sponsorship revenue. Communications revenue from WiFi and data systems "will be split with the team." Kelm-Helgen said that in total, the authority will get roughly $1M per home game "under the rent and capital contribution agreements," which represents about 70% of the operating costs. She added that the authority at the Metrodome "clears about $600,000 per game from its share of revenues" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/4).
FANS NOT REAL HAPPY: KMSP-Fox's Bill Keller reported he has "yet to really meet a season-ticket holder that likes the idea of having to pay this hefty one-time just for that privilege of paying for their seats." The Wilf family, which owns the Vikings, has to come up with $100M, and the decision to implement PSLs is "not as bad as it could have been -- the team was asking for more than $150 million." Keller: "But there are certainly a lot of hard decisions that some season-ticket holders will have to now make." Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton previously had indicated that a $1 PSL is "one dollar too much." But Keller reported Dayton "concedes it's how business is done these days in the NFL" and that "it is far less than (what) other teams are charging" (KMSP-Fox, 10/3).