MINNEAPOLIS – The Vikings released new animations of their new stadium on Friday. The moving demonstrations show the approaches from the West and East ends of the facility, as well as a "club" inside the arena.
The Vikings also announced pricing and financing for the controversial one-time seat licenses, called Stadium Building Licenses (SBLs) that will be required for 75% of the 65,400 seats in the new stadium. The SBLs are in addition to the required season ticket cost. The SBL costs range from $9500 for a seat on the 50 yard line behind the Vikings bench, to $500 much higher and further away from the sidelines.
"It gives many different options in the stadium," said Michelle Kelm-Helgen, Minnesota Sports Facilities Chair. "You can go down to the 50 yard line across the field (from the Vikings bench) and be down there in the first row and it is $4500."
The licenses are to raise $100 million for the Vikings portion of the cost of the new stadium. However, should the licenses fail to generate that amount of money, Kelm-Helgen said it is up to the Vikings to make up the difference.
"It is just the reality of building a new stadium in today's times," said Steve LaCroix, Vikings Vice President of Marketing. "It fits Minnesota for the size of the program. $100 million net program is significantly less than bigger markets in New York and San Francisco and Dallas."
The Vikings showed graphs indicating that 17 other NFL teams have raised money with seat licenses, including Dallas ($651 million), San Francisco ($500 million) New York Giants ($439 million) and New York Jets ($375 million).
"We feel excited about the fact that we have an option for really every basic budget and every kind of fan," said Jason Gonella, Executive Director of New Stadium Sales. "This stadium is nothing like what the Metrodome was and it is going to be unbelievable. It is nice that TCF will be a nice intermediary, because it is a newer stadium, but this stadium is going to be unbelievable."
LaCroix explained that fans would not necessarily have to buy season tickets for the 2014 and 2015 seasons at TCF Bank Stadium, in order to be able to purchase season tickets in 2016 for the new stadium. That means if people buy their SBL or SBLs in the new stadium, those seats will be available for purchase in 2016 even though they have not held season tickets for two years.
"There are about 12,000 seats in the bowl that will not have SBLs associated with them," said Gonella. "The other 75% will have SBLs with an average price of about $2500."
The Vikings announced that they have divided their season ticket holders into 16 "zones", based on where they held tickets in the Metrodome. They will give ticket holders in those zones the chance to pick and buy SBLs in the next 9 months to one year. Zone one is the area directly behind the Vikings bench. They will have first choice.
Financing plans for the SBLs include a down payment of 10%, then interest-free payments of another 10% in 2015 and 2016. The balance can be financed with market rate interest for 5 years.
LaCroix said season ticket renewals for the 2014 season at TCF Bank Stadium are going well. "We are approximately 30% renewed," he said. "that is ahead of where we were in the past. So, we feel like we are headed in the right direction."