In the off season prior to 2012's first NFL kickoff, owners voted in a policy that gives each team the ability to change the percentage of tickets that must be sold in order to prevent a home game from being a local TV blackout.
The Vikings announced Thursday they will install a 90 percent capacity "ticket manifest" -- meaning that 90 percent of seats must be sold in order to consider the game a sellout.
Thanks to the league's adjustment to its blackout policy, all NFL teams have the unprecedented option of being able to select a sellout percentage between the typical 100 percent down to 85 percent of capacity. The Vikings will reduce the Metrodome ticket quota by approximately 6,000 seats.
"This decision is in line with many of the Vikings' decisions that are in the best interests of our fans. By reducing the ticket manifest, the Vikings are in a better position to achieve the team's goal of reaching as many Vikings fans as possible and have all 2012 home games locally televised," said Mike Wobschall, of Vikings Blog.
For 13 seasons, the team has sold out every home game -- at least on paper. That means every game was shown as scheduled in homes and bars in the state, but it wasn't easy. There were several near-misses over the past few seasons when the NFL required sell-outs.
Since the Vikings didn't have anything close to a winning season last year with their three and 13 record, the team is taking advantage of lowering the threshold to reach more fans -- even if it means forgoing revenue to the visiting team.
"It's important for the Vikings to take advantage of a new policy that benefits our fans and helps us achieve our goal of having our games televised throughout Minnesota,"said Vikings chief marketing officer Steve LaCroix. "Our focus remains on selling every seat in Mall of America Field, and we will continue to work hard to achieve that. This flexibility, however, puts us in a better position to have our home games are locally televised."