Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
Thanks to everyone who participated in the return of Have at It this week. Playing off a podcast from our friends at ESPN 1000 in Chicago, we asked why there are still thousands of tickets available for every Minnesota home game this season.
The discussion took a similar path as one we had in January, when the Vikings needed two deadline extensions from the NFL to sell out their divisional playoff game against Philadelphia. Some of you cited your dislike for the Metrodome, others suggested the Twin Cities are a “bandwagon” sports town while others noted the continuing economic recession.
Machinemanske, in fact, believes it was a fallacy to assume the arrival of Brett Favre would have bridged the sales gap:
Given the economic situation, I'm not sure the addition of one player would impact ticket sales THAT much. Lambeau Field season tickets have been sold out since 1960 and I don't think any one player helped to boost that. Even dismal seasons boasted a sold-out crowd. As impressive as that may be, I'm not here to brag about Lambeau. I'm here to say it takes more than one player, maybe a better economy and a certain level of dedication from the team's fans. I didn't think the addition of Brett Favre would have a huge positive impact on ticket sales. Merchandise sales...sure, but not ticket sales.
TheShurThing believes local fans on the fence chose to spend their money at the University of Minnesota’s new (outdoor) TCF Bank Stadium.
Would you rather watch the Gophers outside or the Vikings in the Dome, which has few good seats and parking is questionable at best? In fact the price of getting tickets to those new stadiums could be a major issue to why the Vikes can’t sell tickets. I'm a die hard Vikings fan … but I would rather watch the Gophers and the new stadium than sit in the Dome.
But pchrisb3443 suggested, and I agree, that every NFL stadium has its levels of discomfort.
Granted the Metrodome isn't the best venue but quit crying about how uncomfortable it is. The seats at Lambeau are still bleacher seats for God's sake!
My take? Seems to be a combination of factors at work. There are a lot of tickets for sale these days in the Twin Cities, including not only TCF Bank Stadium but also the Minnesota Twins’ new Target Field, which opens next spring. There is less money to spent than even last year at this time. And while many fans are energized by Favre’s arrival, there is also a group who can’t get past the carpet-bagging nature of his expected tenure. I can’t say I expect local television blackouts this season, but it’s clear Favre won’t be a revenue messiah, either.