Hartman: Super Bowl will improve Vikings' profitability

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 23, 2014 - 11:50 AM

Owner Mark Wilf said the team hopes to settle on stadium naming rights in the near future.

The last survey of the values of NFL franchises had the Vikings, with the new stadium on the way, at 21st in the league at $1.007 billion.

Now that they have landed the Super Bowl for 2018, you can rest assured the worth of the franchise certainly will match that of the Baltimore Ravens, who were ninth at $1.227 billion, and become a lot more profitable.

And the presence of the Super Bowl should also boost the price of the stadium naming rights, something team owner Mark Wilf said the Vikings hope to get done in the near future.

The availability of Super Bowl tickets should also make it more attractive for the sale of seat licenses and season-ticket packages.

“We hope so,” said Wilf when asked if the Super Bowl should help with sponsorship and profitability. “Yeah, the fact that it shows that it validates that having a first-class, world-class venue like this makes it that much more attractive, and hearing from others that that’s the kind of facility we’re building is helpful.

“Hopefully [the naming rights are sold] soon. We’re working on it, and I think having an event like the Super Bowl will help us with the sponsorship.”

Asked what sold the NFL owners on Minneapolis as a Super Bowl site, Wilf said: “I thought we really put a good package together, a good, competitive bid, which showed off a lot of the great venues and facilities we have in the Twin Cities, and starting off at the top of the list was our new stadium. I think we put a great bid together, and I did think we had a chance.”

Did the Vikings offer more financially than New Orleans?

“I think it was a combination. We offered some good incentives financially. We also offered a great legacy program — over $2 million, I think, to youth football and things of that nature,” said Wilf.

“Overall I thought we put our best foot forward.”

Moving forward

Wilf was straightforward when asked what’s next for the Vikings.

“Now we try to win one,” he said in reference to the Super Bowl. “But besides that, as far as hosting the game I know the committee is going to get right to work in terms of hiring the staff and start to put together the plans to make this happen. We at the Vikings will do everything we can to help make it a successful event and one we can be proud of.”

Wilf was asked for an update on the construction work underway on the east side of downtown.

“We’re moving right along,” he said. “Concrete is coming out of the ground, we had our first piece of steel brought in, so we’re on time. Again it’s a first-class, world-class building that we’re going to be having here in the Twin Cities. I think all Vikings fans are going to be extremely proud of the facility that they’re going to be able to watch Vikings games for years to come.”

McDonagh, Leddy thrive

Two players with Minnesota ties are playing great in the NHL conference finals.

Former Cretin-Derham Hall standout Ryan McDonagh was the fifth-leading scorer and leading defenseman for the New York Rangers with 10 points (five goals, five assists) through 16 playoff games. In Games 1 and 2 against the Montreal Canadiens, both Rangers victories, McDonagh had two goals and four assists.

Meanwhile, Nick Leddy, the Eden Prairie native who struggled a bit in the Blackhawks’ series against the Wild, has been producing better against the Los Angeles Kings. He has two points in two games. Leddy scored his first goal of the playoffs on Wednesday night in a 6-2 loss.

Speaking of the Blackhawks, goaltender Corey Crawford — who was so consistent in shutting down the Wild, posting a .926 save percentage with two goals against per game in that series — was torched by the Kings Wednesday night for five goals — all in the third period — on 30 shots. His save percentage in the conference finals now stands at .893.

Jottings

• I was among the media who were not enamored by the additions Twins General Manager Terry Ryan made before the 2014 season started. Believe me, nobody had any idea that on May 22 the Twins would be two games over .500, having won five of their last six series, including the past four from Detroit, Boston, Seattle and San Diego.

And in addition, there wasn’t too much applause for the signing of the free agents on a pitching rotation that over its past six starts has posted a 2.70 ERA with no home runs allowed, eight walks and 32 strikeouts. In that time, opponents are hitting .210.

• And then you have Phil Hughes, who was 2-3 through nine starts last year for the of the Yankees, with a 5.51 ERA, 42 strikeouts, 13 walks and 10 homers allowed. After pitching a masterpiece against the Padres on Wednesday, allowing no runs or walks and seven hits in seven innings, his record through nine starts is 5-1 with a 3.15 ERA, 47 strikeouts, only six walks and four home runs allowed. Since April 26, Hughes has a 1.21 ERA

• The success of third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who has hit in seven consecutive games since May 14 and has accounted for 28 percent of the Twins’ runs, including a home run on Wednesday that was measured at 439 feet, the longest hit in Petco Park this season.

• Even more remarkable, the Twins are winning despite some players’ struggles. Ricky Nolasco, who signed a four-year, $49 million contract in the offseason, is 2-4 with a 5.50 ERA. Chris Colabello, who carried the team early this season and was hitting .359 through the first 19 games, has hit just .140 over his past 22 games. And Jason Kubel, who like Colabello had a hot bat early (.319 average through the first 20 games), has hit .188 in the 18 games since.

• Australian pitcher Liam Hendriks, once one of the Twins’ top prospects, is the leading pitcher in the International League. Starting for Class AAA Buffalo, a Toronto Blue Jays farm club, Hendriks is 5-0 with a 1.48 ERA. He has 36 strikeouts in 48 ⅔ innings with just three walks. … Meanwhile, second baseman Eddie Rosario, one of the top-rated prospects in the Twins’ minor league system, is expected to be in the lineup this weekend for the Fort Myers Miracle when his 50-game suspension ends. He is expected to play a few games in Fort Myers before joining the Class AA New Britain Rock Cats.

 

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

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