The Vikings don’t see their long-term future being at the Metrodome, but they do continue to make changes in the building that are designed at increasing their revenues on a short-term basis.

The latest project is The Gridiron Club – an eventual naming rights deal could be struck with a corporation – which will be located where the Minnesota Twins had their offices before moving to Target Field. The Gridiron Club will take up a 3,800-square foot area and occupy the upper level of the Twins’ former office space, meaning customers will have a view of the plaza outside the stadium but won’t be able to see the playing field.

Steve LaCroix, the Vikings’ chief marketing officer, said the team has not started selling memberships yet but is looking at capping the number at 150. Members first will have to be season-ticket holders at Mall of America Field. (The Vikings sold about about 55,000 season tickets in 2009.)

Those fans would pay an additional $2,500 above what they are paying for season tickets in order to become members. The cost would cover food and drinks, including beer and wine, but not hard liquor.

LaCroix said the Gridiron Club will have “all the latest technology,” give patrons access to “The Sunday Ticket” so they could keep up with other games and also include video games. Private restrooms also will be built. The club will be open before, during and after games.

A rough estimate puts the potential for new revenue at about $300,000. That is significant for the Vikings given the lack of revenues they currently generate at the stadium – a primary reason they are seeking a new playing venue.
The Vikings other efforts to add value in the Metrodome have included taking out eight suites in two sections of the stadium to build two clubs, selling naming rights to certain gates and selling naming rights to the Mall of America to sponsor the field.
“This would be a short-term benefit for us from a revenue standpoint,” LaCroix said of this latest addition. “It does not create a stadium solution or satisfy things for the long term. But it would help bridge the gap for the next couple of years to add an amenity that we feel fits into the area and something we didn’t have from a hospitality offering standpoint.”
The Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which runs the Metrodome, is investing about $700,000 to build the Gridiron Club.