NEW YORK -- A long-planned NFL experiment with on-field
seating will begin Sunday with the Jacksonville at Minnesota game.
Four field seats for each game will be made available. The host
teams, all of which volunteered to conduct the experiment, will
choose which fans will sit in chairs located 12 yards from the
sideline and not near bench areas. The home teams also will choose
exactly where the seats are located.
The other games in the experiment will be the New York Giants at
Washington on Dec. 5, Houston at Chicago on Dec. 19 and New England
at Miami on Monday night, Dec. 20.
The league is not backing off from the experiment in the wake of
the melee between players and fans at last Friday's NBA game in
Auburn Hills, Mich. The experiment was proposed more than a year
ago and discussed at the owners' meetings last May. A memo to all
32 teams was sent in August seeking volunteers to conduct the
"We will use these experiments to evaluate the polices to
govern the concept, issues such as security, football operations,
broadcast operations, access to concession stands and rest rooms,"
said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.
Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing,
said four corporate sponsors or franchise guests will sit on the
visitor's side toward one of the end zones Sunday. They will be
partially enclosed in a padded box and will sit on recliners with
small TVs and cup holders.
"We have the space at our facility, whereas a lot of other
facilities don't," LaCroix said.
LaCroix also said the seats could benefit the Vikings if the NFL
goes through with the plan.
"Certainly we're revenue challenged in the Metrodome, so that
could be a potential benefit," he said.