With groundbreaking only weeks away, some key decisions will be made Thursday regarding the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. Of particular interest to Vikings fans will be the price of personal seat licenses that season ticket holders will need to buy to reserve their seats.
The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority met at 1 p.m. to review hundreds of pages of documents while addressing and resolving several outstanding issues. This meeting was postponed a week because of the Vikings game in London.
The deal is not yet signed, but MSFA chair Michele Kelm-Helgen said she is working to finalize the stadium use agreement with the Vikings.
The most controversial issue facing the Vikings and MSFA is the framework for the PSLs. Gov. Mark Dayton asked the authority to keep the number of seat licenses, which can cost thousands of dollars each, to a minimum, but the team is allowed to raise $100 million through that avenue.
"As far as I'm concerned, personally, a dollar for personal seat licenses is one dollar too much," Dayton told FOX 9 News. "We wouldn't have an agreement here if we hadn't agreed to that at the very beginning of the process with the Legislature."
Under the current deal, 75 percent of the seats in the stadium will be subject to a PSL. That accounts for roughly 47,000 seats, with the highest license fee at $10,000 and the lowest at $500. The average price for all of the seats is $2,500.
"I believe average $2,500, $830 over three years, does make it a Minnesota program," Kelm-Helgen said. "We looked at a lot of different iterations to get to that point. IF we went to a fewer number of seats to get that kind of investment that was being looked at, we would have had to go much higher."
Season-ticket holders will be allowed three years to pay off the PSL via an interest-free loan program; however, several who spoke to FOX 9 News say they won't pay again for a stadium that is already publicly funded. The revenue from PSLs is expected to count toward the team's $477 million share of the $975 million stadium cost.
If the deal is signed, the NFL owners must approve the use agreement next week in Washington. From there, the Vikings will need to secure their financing by Nov. 1.
The Vikings will have numerous revenue streams, including naming rights and advertising. They will also pocket the ticket prices as well as the concessions. Their lease agreement would then guarantee the MSFA $1 million per home game, which is about a 40 percent increase from what they're getting now.
Groundbreaking is expected in mid-November, with the first wall of the Metrodome set to come down mid-February.