Updated below. Gov. Mark Dayton lashed out against the idea of the Minnesota Vikings selling seat licenses at the new stadium in a letter to team owners. Do you "deplore" the idea like the governor does, and would you pay for a seat license?
In his letter to Zygi and Mark Wilf (see PDF), Dayton wrote:
Now comes word that the team is considering requiring season ticket-holders to pay part of the "NFL Team/Private Contribution" for construction costs. I strongly oppose shifting any part of the team's responsibility for those costs onto Minnesota Vikings fans. This Private Contribution is your responsibility, not theirs. I said this new stadium would be a "People's Stadium," not a "Rich People's Stadium." I meant it then, and I mean it now.
At his ESPN blog, Kevin Seifert wrote that Dayton "sloppy political maneuver":
I dug up the legislation itself online and found the relevant passages. Here you go: On the topic of what the bill refers to as "stadium builder's licenses," the legislation says: "The authority shall own and retain the exclusive right to sell stadium builder's licenses in the stadium. The authority will retain the NFL team to act as the authority's agent in marketing and selling such licenses." In a subsection on the Vikings' contribution, the bill reads: "The NFL team/private contribution, including stadium builder's license proceeds, for stadium costs must be made in cash in the amount of $477,000,000."
Updated (Tuesday, 1 p.m.): Local Legislators' Views
State Rep. Carolyn Laine (DFL-Columbia Heights) represents part of Fridley until the new legislative session starts in January, when new district lines take effect. She said by email Tuesday she is against seat licenses:
I whole-heartedly agree with Gov. Dayton that the Vikings should not ask fans to help pay for the Vikings' portion of the stadium costs. I personally felt the Vikings got too good a deal in the negotiations for the stadium, and this only rubs salt into the wound. They are a profitable business organization that rightfully can absorb costs of investment in infrastructure that will return even higher profits. To shift those costs to Minnesota fans is truly deplorable. I would support the Governor in any effort to prevent this.
Patch has asked for comment from other state legislators who represent Fridley now or will in the next legislative session. Look for more updates with their responses.
Local Fan Views
Last year Fridley resident P.J. Wiggan told MPR he has had season tickets for more than 10 years but wasn't crazy about the idea of buying seat licenses, given the team's record on the field:
"If I looked at it as an investment opportunity, I could maybe start to justify it. ... But an investment in the Vikings is as dangerous as almost any out there, as far as, you know, we've had four Super Bowl losses, we've multiple recent NFC championship game losses. This is a team that has not yet shown that it knows how to win the big games."
I would buy a personal seat licenses if it helps get the stadium built and keeps the Vikings in Minnesota. They obviously couldn't charge what NY or Dallas does but any money that can come from fans and the team is money that can be subtracted from public money. I love the Vikings and would be totally willing to do this. The NFL is a pretty good investment these days.
Do you agree with the governor, P.J. or Brad? Leave a comment below and answer the polls above.