The Minnesota Vikings did a virtual end zone celebration in advance of Super Bowl Sunday by announcing they’re only $10 million shy of a $125 million sales goal for seat licenses at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The team was to report Wednesday having sold 90 percent of the available “stadium builder’s licenses” for the building’s inaugural 2016 season. The first games will be played in the new $1.1 billion facility in August.
“We’re in a good place; We still have a lot of work to do to get to that $125 million goal,” Vikings chief marketing officer Steve LaCroix said.
Ticket sales started in spring 2014 with the goal of raising $125 million for owners Zygi and Mark Wilf to use toward their $578 million share of the building’s cost.
Though common at new stadiums throughout the country, this is the first time seat licenses have been sold in the Twin Cities.
The licenses initially were controversial because fans are helping the owners defray their cost for the new building. Taxpayers already are paying just shy of $500 million for the project.
The stadium-builder licenses are required for 49,700 seats in the 66,200-seat stadium. License prices ranged from $500 to $9,500.
The licenses are one-time fees for the right to buy a certain season-ticket seat in the stadium. Once purchased, the seat licenses are valid for 30 years, but they apply only for Vikings games — not concerts and other events.
Initially the Vikings sold the licenses at 16 price points. The highest and lowest categories are sold out. Remaining are licenses for $2,000, $2,250 and $2,550.
The less than 5,000 remaining seat licenses to be sold are for seats in the lower level corner and in the end zone.
The suites don’t require licenses, but the team also has commitments for 123 of 131 suites at U.S. Bank Stadium. The fanciest suites sold out within the first year of sales. Only two types of suites remain: 10-person Norseman Lounge Mini-Suites and 22-person Turf Suites.
LaCroix said sales picked up after the team lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the playoffs with the team selling 1,000 licenses in the past three weeks. He said traditionally sales also spike in April around the time of the NFL draft.
“We’re eager to see what happens when the NFL season is over on Sunday,” LaCroix said, referring to the Super Bowl.
A new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons will open in the year following the opening of U.S. Bank Stadium. Every seat at the facility will require a license. Prices run from $500 to $45,000.