Commerce, nostalgia come with Vikings tickets

Single-game tickets go on sale Tuesday, bringing with it the last season to see a game in the Metrodome, next year's run-up to outdoor football and, eventually, the new stadium.

The Vikings are beginning what is going to be a recurring theme throughout the 2013 season: referencing the rest of this year as the final season of Vikings football in the Metrodome.

Single-game tickets and multi-game packages will go on sale at 9 a.m. Central Tuesday at the ticket office on the west side of the Metrodome, the loving corporate home of Mall of America Field. That time is important because it gives local fans and those willing to travel a one-hour window to get tickets for the final season before they go on worldwide public sale at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.com and via phone. It will also get procrastinating Vikings fans a chance to get in on the mania as the Vikings become temporary nomads.

With season ticket packages still available, those fans who want to get a priority for not only the two seasons at TCF Bank Stadium, but for the new Vikings stadium-to-be-named-later can do that. It may seem like a steep investment, but once the Vikings start playing outdoor football, the secondary market for tickets could be intense. The same is true for the new stadium on the Metrodome site. The intensity will ratchet up as the dawn rises on the new era of Vikings football. Much like Target Field for the Twins, Vikings fans will want to see the new stadium in person and, as a result, the asking price for a ticket will be heightened the closer we get to the opening of Zygiland.

Forward-thinking venture capitalists may well be showing up at the west end gate of the Metrodome along with the usual collection of face-painters at the Metrodome ticket office at 9 a.m. Tuesday. It's a perfect storm of commerce.

As the final curtain comes down on the Metrodome, there will be nostalgia about what took place under that roof – before and after it collapsed. It has paid witness to a lot of history – Tony Dorsett's 99-yard run, Bernard Berrian's 99-yard reception, Antonio Cromartie's 109-yard return of a missed field goal and Adrian Peterson's 296 rushing yards in a single game. All of those are NFL records and don't take into account the 1998 season and all the individual stars that made the Metrodome what it was.

Aesthetically, the Metrodome never looked as if it was completely finished. It was built on the cheap and was functional in the way a National Guard armory is functional. It served a purpose. It wasn't a sports palace. In fact, it's a dump that won't be missed when the dynamite is detonated (maybe they save money by letting the first January snow bring the roof down again).

But, with eyes on the future, you can bet that ticket brokers will be at the dome's ticket office Tuesday morning before 9 a.m. They're big-picture thinkers and Vikings tickets are going to be investments for the next five years or more. The Vikings have a product fans want to see already, coming off a playoff season and a record-setting one by Adrian Peterson. Having the final year of the Metrodome will help push the promotional campaign. Going nostalgic about outdoor football for two years will get the old-school feel in Vikings fans that could make The Bank a destination. The new stadium? Fuggetaboutit.

The price of attending NFL games is stiff – as are all professional sports. But as the Vikings get ready to start the last year under the hump of the Metrodome, for those wanting to get in on the ground level of the next version of Vikings history are going to be in line (or pay someone to be in line for them). The smart money is called the smart money because, starting this year, Vikings tickets will be sold and bartered at a premium. It starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Are you ready for some free market commerce?

FRIDAY NOTES

  • With Vikings fans getting ready to get in line or pull out their credit cards to buy tickets for the final season at the Metrodome, they don't have to worry about the Vikings being a team that relocates to new city. The NFL may not have to look far to find a team to relocate in Los Angeles. News out of San Diego is that the team is looking for $700 million in public funding for a new stadium. Over the last several years, the local business community and governmental officials have consistently denied appropriating large sums of public funds for a new stadium. Los Angeles is going to eventually get a team and, if the stare-down continues, it may well be the Chargers.

  • Former Viking Fred Smoot is making unfortunate headlines in Washington D.C. While Redskins fans have no love loss for Emmitt Smith, Smoot decided to interject himself into the conversation by telling a local beat writer that nobody who has ever met Smith came away liking him – going on to say, "I don't know if he's a jerk just because he's a Cowboy." Count this writer as a contradiction to Smoot's assessment. I caught Smith at the end of an interview session and he gave me a private audience. He could have taken one look and said, "I'm done." He's didn't. I came away from that interview with respect for Smith. Smoot? Not so much.

  • As predicted here earlier in the week, not one NFL team was willing to part with even a seventh-round pick for the collection of players that were available in Thursday's supplemental draft. At least one player had been taken in the supplemental draft in each of the previous four years. The only player taken in last year's supplemental draft was wide receiver Josh Gordon. Cleveland used a second-round pick on Gordon in last year's supplemental draft and it paid off – he led the team in receiving yards and touchdowns, as well as finishing second on the team in receptions.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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