Although the effort apparently was unrelated to life in a pandemic, it may come in handy if the Vikings are playing games with no one inside their stadium.
Via Rochelle Olson of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Minnesota legislature has given the Vikings permission to sell alcohol in the Commons park, a 4.2-acre gathering space outside U.S. Bank Stadium.
Vikings V.P. Lester Bagley explained that there’s no specific plan to sell alcohol in Commons park, yet.
“The biggest issue is the lack of fan gathering spaces and disappearing tailgating opportunities — a time-honored tradition for the Vikings fans in the days of yore,’ Bagley said.
If the pandemic prevents fans from filling the stadium (and buying alcohol there), it’s possible that fans will still be permitted to gather outside the stadium in a way that promotes social distancing and in turn limits the spread of the coronavirus. If permitted by state and local regulations to congregate safely in these spaces, why not sell them stuff? And it surely wouldn’t just be alcohol but food and merchandise and some of the products that the Vikings otherwise would be selling if fans were inside the building.
It may not matter; maybe the Vikings will be permitted to fill the stadium. If they can’t, either partially or at all, the permission to sell alcohol outside the building boosts revenue, if there’s a way to thread the needle to allow fans to hang around outside the building, watching the game on their phones and/or on a large screen somewhere and, more importantly, transferring money from their pockets into the team’s cash register.