If you’re a Vikings fan, the time to get into the new stadium is now. I have been a season ticket owner since 2011, and a fan for most of my youth. I’ve always been one of those “root for the home team” type of guys. So when it was time for me to decide on buying seats in the new stadium, my wife wondered why I had cold feet.


For one, I’m getting tired of a league that promotes abusers, racists, and crooks. Minnesota is #1 when it comes to arrests!

Truth-be-told I had a moment of enlightenment when the new stadium proceedings began – especially when owner Zygi Wilf said that the team could move if a new stadium is not approved. A life-long fan and friend of mine was against the stadium build. I asked for an explanation and he sent me to a deadspin article that basically likened NFL teams to strippers. They do not love you, they go where the money is. Falling in love with a stripper is stupid.

But with the stadium deal inked, all that was left was to do a cost/benefit analysis…

Let’s do the numbers

Stadium Total Cost: $1.024 Billion
State of MN: $348 Million
City of Minneapolis: $150 Million
Private contributions: $526 Million

Awesome, the Wilfs are coming to the table with a lion’s share of the money? Let’s take a closer look at the private contributions:

Stadium Builders Licenses: $125 Million
NFL Loan: $200 Million
Remaining: $201 Million

The remainder will come from the team and the owners, but I doubt much more than $50 million (<5% total cost) will shake out of the Wilf’s pockets, especially when things like naming rights are still on the table.

The fact remains that the stadium is being built on the backs of the fans, as they are forced to the table bringing over 23% of the private contribution, and over 12% of the total cost.

It’s not that I disagree with private contribution. I think it’s wise to have the private sector bear most of the burden. But all along the song that was sung is that the poor Wilfs are coming to the table with more than any other franchise has, which is misleading.

For comparison Jerry World, which opened in 2009 to the tune of $1.3B, was funded mostly by $933M in city bonds (ouch!). Jerry Jones got an assist from the NFL for $150M, leaving the remaining $217M to him and the team.

When you compartmentalize these huge numbers they can seem rather deceiving to the public.

Stadium Builders License – What do I get?

Some say it’s an investment. You can sell it at anytime! Well, it’s only worth what it’s worth, and if everyone wised up it’s really worth nothing. Sadly, the actual license costs aren’t known to the fans until long after the whole deal has been inked with the city and the state.

I asked my new stadium sales rep what the additional benefits were since it’s called a Stadium Builders License and not a Vikings Ticket License.

If monster trucks come to town do I get to sit in my seats that I paid to build? Do I at least get a discount on tickets to other events?

The salesman remarked that the stadium will be a draw for promoters (he cited Paul McCartney at Target Field). If the promoters choose, they could email us pre-sale ticket deals before they go public.

Really it gets me subscribed to a promoters email list. In reality, the stadium will likely sell my email address to an event promoter that is not in any way required to honor my “license.”

No thanks.

So long, thanks for all the SPAM!

One thought on “Stadium Builders License – an insider’s perspective

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