MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings became the latest team to get into the personal seat license game in February, announcing their plan for PSLs (or "stadium builder's licenses," as the team calls them) as part of their new $975 million stadium that will open in 2016. The team had hoped to raise $100 million of its $477 million contribution toward the stadium through PSLs, and in less than three months, the Vikings are already nearly a third of the way there.
Team spokesman Jeff Anderson said on Friday morning that fans who held some of the most expensive seats in the Metrodome have already bought up 6,500 seats in the new 65,400-seat stadium, contributing more than $30 million to the team's seat license program. Roughly 75 percent of the ticketholders contacted have purchased seat licenses, Anderson said, and of those who have purchased seats, 80 percent are buying in club areas. The Field and Valhalla clubs -- the two most expensive seating clubs in the stadium, with respective seat licenses of $9,500 and $7,000 -- are essentially sold out, Anderson said.
In addition, the Vikings have sold 2,000 new season tickets for the upcoming season at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium, which will give fans an opportunity to get tickets at the new stadium sooner. "What we think we're seeing is people jumping on board at the university, knowing they get priority at the new stadium," Anderson said. He also added the Vikings expect their season-ticket renewal percentage to be in the "low-to-mid 80s," which likely means single-game tickets will be in short supply at the 52,000-seat stadium.
It's certainly worth noting that the Vikings have so far concentrated their season-ticket program on the ticketholders who bought the highest-priced seats at the Metrodome, and presumably have the most money to spend on seats at the new stadium, and it will be interesting to see if high renewal rates hold up when fans in lower-priced areas get a chance to reserve seats in the next few weeks and months. The Vikings divided the Metrodome into 16 seating zones, and Van Wagner Group -- whom the Vikings hired to run their sales process for the new stadium -- has started setting appointments for ticketholders in Zone 3 to reserve seats.
But the early returns on the Vikings' seat license program indicate the team will have no trouble getting its $100 million from the program, which probably shouldn't come as a surprise. There's presumably a ceiling somewhere as to what fans will spend on the NFL, but it doesn't appear we've hit it yet.