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with Sean Jensen and Don Seeholzer

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Blackout looming

Is the Vikings' string of 101 consecutive home sellouts about to come to an end?

With more than 3,000 tickets still remaining for Sunday's game against Detroit and no corporate partner stepping up to buy them, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing Steve LaCroix said it's a concern.

"We're active in those discussions, but there's no one partner that we think will come in to save the day, so to speak," LaCroix said. "At this point, there's no guarantee that anyone can step up and buy a block of seats the way WCCO has done the last two games."

WCCO/Channel 4 bought up the final 1,000 tickets for the Nov. 4 game against San Diego and paired with Miller Brewing Company to purchase the final 2,000 for the last home game against Oakland.

Sunday's game is scheduled to be aired locally on Fox station KMSP/Channel 9, but only if all tickets are sold by noon Thursday.

A Fox spokesperson said the station is still looking at the situation but that no decision has been made.

LaCroix said the Vikings have put the NFL on notice that they might ask for a 24-hour extension of the deadline, as they did before the season opener against Atlanta, but that none has been granted at this time.

The Vikings were hoping for a surge in ticket sales, coming off a 41-17 win over the New York Giants, but it hasn't happened and they will need some kind of corporate assistance to avoid their first home blackout since 1997.

"We're a bit surprised, coming off a real successful day Sunday and two wins in a row and a lot of positive momentum," LaCroix said. "We have some good things going, but that hasn't translated into ticket sales to our fan base."

8 Comments:

Blogger Jeff Carter said...

While I am really disappointed the game may be blacked out, I am not all that surprised. The Vikings seem to think that two wins should spur the troops back to the Dome for expensive seats in the nose bleed section.

I have been critical of Childress, because I think he has been a pretty poor field general. AP has been a wonderful player to watch, but T Jack is, well, still a question mark. The organization needs to show more commitment to the team (how about just getting to the salary cap for a start) and then the fans will give you a better response. Or at least learn how to make better use of the payroll. The 49ers and Browns are the only team more under the cap than the Vikes (http://www.askthecommish.com/salarycap/numbers.asp), and frankly, we could use another $20 million worth of quality players.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Colin Borchert said...

Boo Minnesota fans. The Vikes are hot, winning 2 of 3 and with a legit chance at the playoffs, and fans are sleeping. How about Packers fans, who have a waiting list even during crappy seasons, or Browns fans, etc.

If they end up moving to LA it will be the Minnesota fans' fault. From this Jeff Carter's post, it seems like Minnesota fans don't deserve a pro football team. Like it is a burden to go party in a parkinglot and watch a pro football game.

Sick!

And this cap issue, are you insane? You want to spend money just because we have it? On what-- Simeon Rice? There have to be players out there worth spending it on, and you seem to think that there is a store out there where you can get them.

That said, I expect the Vikes will lock up another player before the season is over (ala Herrera this year and EJ Hendu and McKinnie last year)

11:12 AM  
Blogger mark said...

I agree on the ticket issue. I live in Colorado and flew to the Chiefs/Vikes game and of course will be going to the Broncos game which may actually have some meaning now. I guess when have you have a will there is a way. Apparently the fans don't have the will up there which is disappointing.

As far as the salary cap, which I know nothing on how it works, we probably need to spend some of it to get the quality players needed especially the skill positions (ie quarterback, receivers,)

Would it be awesome if AP comes out smokin again this weekend? I hope they smoother the Lions even though I think they are going to have a difficult time. I will be watching either way as a true Viking fan that bleeds Purple.

12:44 PM  
Blogger chris said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:58 PM  
Blogger chris said...

Football and Hockey, my two favorite sports. Hockey is meant to be taken in live and loud in the arena, not so great on TV.
Football is so boring live. I will be disappointed if I am unable to sit in my own living room with my own beer and food and watch the game. I dread having to listen to Paul Allen (who calls the game as though he were a drunken frat boy) call the game on KFAN if it's not televised.

So come on all you Vikings fans! Get out there and buy those tickets so I can watch the game!

1:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew E. said...

Jeff, did you check the date on those cap numbers? The Vikings spent a lot of that money (though not necessarily wisely) in free agency. They spent more of it resigning Pat Williams and Anthony Herrera.

The key to success in the NFL is drafting well and then keeping your own players. Good players don't really hit free agency anymore. It's great to say that more money should have been spent, but on whom? Kevin Curtis took less to go to Philly. The team could have made a run at Stallworth, but I think it's a lot harder to convince a player to pick TJ over Brady. The only player out there who would have been a great addition is Patrick Kearny, but I can understand wanting to see if Udeze/Edwards/James/Robinson can develop.

In short, the cap room isn't out of thrift, it's because there simply were not that many attractive options.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Jeff Carter said...

Andrew -

Those were the best cap numbers I could find, and I do agree with you, home grown talent is the best. With the Franchise Tag rule, etc, it is tough to get the best available players.

Nonetheless, I think you and I both read reports over the summer the Vikes had a tough time attracting the best free agents - there was a lot of whispers that players did not want to come here, which I think probably had some credibility.

The best part of the NFL is the ability to completely change your team in only a couple seasons. I am a rapid Minnesota fan, and I drink the kool-aide every off season. Call me a loyal Rube, and all I want in return is ownership that seems to understand that it is guys like me that support the team in the worst of times if I feel they are trying their best. Success will not come overnight, and when it comes to being a fan in this town, patience is not only a virtue, it is a necessity!

9:57 AM  
Blogger Andrew E. said...

There is nothing wrong with having hope spring eternally; who had the Browns headed for a playoff berth?

The one thing to do if one has cap money to spend, and no viable FAs to sign, is to front load existing players' K's. The problem what that is best known as "Vince Carter" syndrome where a player has no incentive to give a damn and thus puts a stamp on his season. To my knowledge, there isn't a way to make future cash accrue in the present cap year, only the opposite is possible.

6:08 PM  

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