Vikings game in London is costly one for workers, businesses in Twin Cities

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 25, 2013 - 7:07 AM

Businesses, workers count loss from one less home game.

hide

A bar just outside the Metrodome was busy last Sunday. When the team plays a “home” game Sunday in London, its costs and losses will be covered, but some businesses and workers will lose a big payday.

Photo: JEFF WHEELER • jwheeler@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

When the Minnesota Vikings play Sunday in London — and not at the Metrodome — the team’s travel costs and financial losses from giving up a home game will be covered by the National Football League.

But in Minneapolis, people with livelihoods tied to Vikings games will not be as fortunate.

From Mary Hager, a waitress, to Natalie Foltz, who gives fans rides to the game in her bicycle-powered pedicab, the loss will be measured in dollars and cents.

“Not a good idea to have one less home game,” said Chelsea Miller, who operates the Kabomelette, a food truck that was parked three blocks from last Sunday’s game at the Metrodome.

From the time it was announced a year ago, the game in London between the Vikings and the Pittsburgh Steelers has been hailed as an opportunity for the NFL to expand its popularity in Europe. Critics locally, however, have seen it as a sign that the league and the team — as they push for a new taxpayer-supported stadium in Minneapolis — may not always have the best interests of the Twin Cities in mind.

Gov. Mark Dayton, in fact, criticized the Vikings last year for subtly trying to increase the number of home games they could play elsewhere, saying the team instead “extolled the virtues” of playing more games outside Minnesota.

Estimating the economic impact of a single Vikings game is an inexact science. A 2010 study by two University of Minnesota experts, analyzing a Vikings playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys that year, said that spending on everything from hotels to transportation as a result of the game increased by $5.8 million locally. The Twin Cities economy, the study added, expanded by $9.1 million for the weekend.

But other studies have claimed that the overall impact of professional sports games — including all-star games and other special events — is exaggerated. Comparing the National Hockey League lockout in 2004-05 with when the Minnesota Wild was playing, state officials said sales-tax collections suggested there was no consistent benefit or loss to St. Paul that could be associated with hockey.

A loss — in the pocketbook

There are of course high-profile exceptions — and will be again Sunday.

While the Vikings are taking a group of corporate sponsors to London for the game, Hubert’s owner Steve Anderly said he will close the popular restaurant and bar across the street from the Metrodome on Sunday and miss what is usually a “five-figure day” in revenue. At last Sunday’s game, 48 people waited in line outside Hubert’s main entrance at 9:20 in the morning — 40 minutes before it opened and nearly three hours before kickoff.

Hager, a Hubert’s waitress for seven years, said that she once made $550 in tips working during a Vikings game and that she and her co-workers “wait all year for the Vikings games.” The money she makes waitressing during lunch on a typical weekday, by comparison, ranges from $60 to $100, she said.

John Connelly, a ticket scalper, wished it was another game that was moved to London and not one against the Steelers, which is typically a high-demand ticket. “That’s a premier game — biggest game next to the [Green Bay] Packers,” he said.

Some who acknowledged that their financial losses would be minimal were nonetheless still upset.

John Regan, a part-owner of Owatonna-based Cavalier Coaches, a charter bus company that runs buses to Vikings games, said he will not lose too much business because of the London game, although he said the overall transportation industry will suffer.

“The coach world is impacted. I mean, on any given Sunday [how] many coach buses were in the [Metrodome] parking lot? 50?” he said. “You can look at all the coach business we’ve lost because of that stupid game in London.”

Charlie Murray, the vice president of Total Luxury Limousine of St. Paul, said he,too, would not be severely hampered by the lost game. He said that only six or seven of the company’s 57-vehicle fleet — Total Luxury has everything from Hummers to a 1957 Chevy stretch limo — are used during Vikings home games.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 79 4th Qtr 4:23
Chicago 89
Milwaukee 51 3rd Qtr
Denver 55
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 3rd Prd 6:46
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 3rd Prd 10:14
Minnesota 2
NY Islanders 1 3rd Prd
Dallas 0
Anaheim 2 2nd Prd 13:23
Arizona 0
Los Angeles 2 1st Prd :59
Edmonton 0
San Jose 1 1st Prd 16:57
Vancouver 0
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Northern Ill 65
Nebraska Omaha 80 FINAL
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 27 2nd Half 15:47
Clemson 30
Texas A&M 25 2nd Half 18:08
Florida 28
Kentucky 32 2nd Half
Georgia 32
West Virginia 40 2nd Half
Kansas 26
Auburn 37 2nd Half 15:30
Missouri 37
Michigan 41 2nd Half 15:28
Northwestern 33
Villanova 29 2nd Half
Creighton 30
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
NJIT 51 FINAL
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 55 FINAL
Kansas State 59
TCU 45 FINAL
Texas 79
Fresno State 48 2nd Half 16:16
Air Force 30
San Jose St 35 2nd Half 15:00
Boise State 56
Nevada 37 2nd Half 12:35
Colorado State 43
UNLV 19 2nd Half 17:22
San Diego State 33
Wyoming 42 2nd Half 10:00
Utah State 39
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close