Vikings decide to adopt new blackout policy

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The Vikings had until Friday to decide whether or not they would be taking advantage of the NFL’s new rule regarding blackouts, which allows teams to televise home games in their local markets if as few as 85 percent of the non-premium seats are sold, but they didn’t wait until the last second.

They announced their decision on Thursday and they’ve decided to join the Bucs, Dolphins and Raiders in adopting it. The Vikings have not gone for the minimum of 85 percent like those other teams, though. They have set their blackout threshold at 90 percent, reducing the burden of seats they need to sell by about 6,000 this season.

“It’s important for the Vikings to take advantage of a new policy that benefits our fans and helps us achieve our goal of having our games televised throughout Minnesota,” said Vikings Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer Steve LaCroix. “Our focus remains on selling every seat in Mall of America Field, and we will continue to work hard to achieve that. This flexibility, however, puts us in a better position to have our home games are locally televised.”

The Vikings haven’t had much problem avoiding blackouts in the past, so they could stand to lose 16 cents on every dollar of revenue if they are able to sell those 6,000-odd seats. Given the stadium deal that they just got with the help of public money and support, that’s a price they’re probably willing to pay to avoid creating an upset among their benefactors because of untelevised games this season.

28 responses to “Vikings decide to adopt new blackout policy

  1. I think that’s a pretty good move considering the Metrodump is on the way out and as we near the end of it’s pitiful life, interest in wanting to see a game there will most definitely wane if the team isn’t at least mediocre.

  2. I don’t think there will be any trouble selling out because it hasn’t been a problem in the past even when the team was bad. The Metrodome is the worst stadium in the NFL by far, but the great Viking fans continue to come to it to see their team in person. Personally, I’d sit at home and watch every week if I didn’t occasionally get free tickets. Can’t wait for the Purple Palace, though!

  3. Average team, worst stadium in the NFL, lots of other options, yet they still have sold out all games for the last 14 years. It was going to be tough this year though, and the Vikes didn’t want to tick off the public months after obtaining taxpayer dough to fund a new stadium. Smart move and good for the fans that can’t afford tickets.

  4. Doesn’t even matter. Let’s just all be glad the Vikes are staying here. Any rational Packers/Bears/Lions fan had to want them to stay, there’s too much great history. Play out the string at the dump, and enjoy your new stadium.

  5. @tokyosandblaster: The Vikings were a model franchise from 1967 to about the late 1980s, then again in the late 1990s. Since then, the franchise has been up-and-down. Learn your NFL history. Nearly every franchise has had periods of great success and great failure.

  6. The reason they normally sell tickets is because there is nothing else to do in MN in the fall and winter but be indoors.

    The terrible home schedule this year of non-divisional opponents may keep even the most loyal fans away.

  7. Pillsbury, Hormel, 3M… whoever the local businesses are that have had to buy up thousands of unsold tickets in the past just to avoid blackouts, will be relieved to hear this news!

  8. Vikings have a very solid fan base. They haven’t had trouble with sellouts for many years, and have the 4th highest local TV market share in the league. There are business and PR reasons to make the change, but I doubt it would’ve been an issue. The Vikings will get off to a good start this year and not look back.

  9. @august589

    If “model franchise” means laying an egg in the biggest game of the year, then yes, the Vikings have had multiple tenures of being a model franchise.

  10. “nothing to do in the fall and winter”, eh?

    You’ve obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. Just another fool with 2 cents.

  11. swede700 says:Aug 16, 2012 7:03 PM

    wrong…the Vikings were NFL Champions 1969…that is the top, friend
    ————————————
    And lost the Super Bowl.

  12. irishgary says:
    Aug 16, 2012 5:59 PM
    @matthewcarlson1

    You’ve never been on top.

    ——————————-
    “Top” is relative and matt there didn’t speak of which “top” he’s referring to.

    “Top” of win % in the NFC? Yes actually, at 84%, the Vikings have the highest all-time win % in the NFC North.

    “Top” amount of playoff appearances since all 4 NFC North teams have existed? At 26 since 1961, the Vikings have more playoff appearances than any other team in the NFC North. Or if you want to look at it another way, the Vikings have more playoff appearances per seasons played than any other team in the NFC North.

    “Top” rushing yards in a single game from one player? Adrian Peterson holds that record

    … to name a few. Sure, they don’t have the coveted ring, but people who write off the Vikings as irrelevant aren’t fans of the game of football. They’ve been consistently relevant through every decade.

  13. Can’t fill up the football stadium for a meesly 8 games? Not good.
    Face it. It’s too damn cold and too expensive for Minnesotans to go to sporting events. Economy sucking doesn’t help either. The Vikings won’t fold anytime soon, but their hockey team just signed their own execution papers.

  14. thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    Aug 16, 2012 2:38 PM
    I don’t think there will be any trouble selling out because it hasn’t been a problem in the past even when the team was bad. The Metrodome is the worst stadium in the NFL by far, but the great Viking fans continue to come to it to see their team in person. Personally, I’d sit at home and watch every week if I didn’t occasionally get free tickets. Can’t wait for the Purple Palace, though!

    ————-

    This is a large part of what is wrong with my fellow Vike fans. Ridiculous.

  15. You people talk like the Vikings have been dealing with blackouts every year. I don’t beleive that the Vikings have been blacked out since the mid to late 1990’s.

    The blackut ruse is out dated, anyone with high speed internet an HDMI cable and a halfway decent computer can watch any football game they want on their tv in their living room. Just do away with it, its too easy to get around anymore to be much of an incentive to sell out the game. Rather teams should use….oh say maybe some marketing to try to expand their brand rather than strong arm their way to sell out games.

  16. dtlb58 says: Aug 16, 2012 4:49 PM

    The reason they normally sell tickets is because there is nothing else to do in MN in the fall and winter but be indoors.
    —————————

    And where exactly are you from? Do you know how many people up here look forward to winter for outdoor activities? And I’m not talking about the old men sitting on frozen lakes staring at a hole in the ice, either….

    I don’t see how people in the south can stand to be outside in the summer. I’ll take frozen water over melting asphalt any day.

  17. Sad how a team with the lowest seating capacity & lowest ticket prices in the NFL needs to do this. What a joke.

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