Vikings Facts: Wilfare Needed to Subsidize Cheap Fans to Keep Up with the Jerry Joneses

The Minnesota Vikings explain on their website on the New Minnesota Stadium Facts page why they are demanding $650 million from the public rather than just raising the money from fans.

– The reason teams like the Cowboys and Patriots can raise more private capital for a new stadium is because they have a market large enough to charge personal seat licenses, something the Minneapolis market is unlikely to accept.

Wikipedia has a list of teams with fans that are not as cheap as Minnesota Vikings fans. These are teams with fans who’ve paid for personal seat licenses as high as $150,000 per seat:

Teams with NFL Seat Licenses:

  • Baltimore Ravens PSL[1]
  • Carolina Panthers PSL
  • Chicago Bears PSL
  • Cincinnati Bengals COA (Charter Ownership Agreements)
  • Cleveland Browns PSL
  • Dallas Cowboys SL (Seat Licenses) (Effective at Cowboys Stadium only.)
  • New York Giants PSL (Effective in the New Meadowlands Stadium only. Buying Giants PSL does NOT give ticket rights for Jets.)
  • New York Jets PSL (Effective in the New Meadowlands Stadium only. Policies differ from the
  • Giants. Buying Jets PSL does NOT give ticket rights for Giants.)
  • Houston Texans PSL
  • Philadelphia Eagles SBL (Stadium Builder Licenses)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers SL
  • Seattle Seahawks CSL (Charter Seat Licenses)
  • St. Louis Rams PSL
  • Tennessee Titans PSL

The Vikings elaborate on their fans’ unwillingness to part with their own money in their stadium FAQ (PDF):

Why can teams like the Cowboys and Patriots pay for their stadiums with mostly private money?

Larger markets can generate more stadium revenues than markets similar to Minneapolis. For example, Dallas raised nearly $500 million in personal seat licenses (PSLs) to go toward stadium construction financing, something the Vikings cannot, and will not, do on a similar scale in this market. For comparison, the Twins generated roughly $5 million in PSL

Looking at the Vikings stadium proposal, it sure seems like they could come up with $650,000,000 by charging fans a mere $10,000 each for personal seat licenses. And, to make that easier to swallow, they Vikings could do what Dallas did: making even more money off fans by letting them finance their PSLs:

Cowboys Seat Option Financing

Much like a traditional home mortgage, the Cowboys offer financing for PSLs over a whopping 30 year period with a fixed interest rate of 8% annually. 25% of the purchase price is due in year 1 with the remaining 75% balance spread out evenly over the next 29 years with annual payments due every March 1st.

If we are to believe the Vikings organization, Vikings fans are far too cheap to spend $2,500 down plus $55 per month to finance a new stadium with their own money.

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