PERSONAL SEAT LICENSING? Vikings fans boo one-time stadium fee - New York News

PERSONAL SEAT LICENSING? Vikings fans boo one-time stadium fee

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Personal seat licenses can be a touchy subject for NFL fans because the thought of paying thousands of dollars just to "own" a seat in addition to paying for tickets seems like just too much for some.

If the Vikings' owners get their way, PSL could be a part of the new stadium. According to the deal, the Wilfs are expected to pony up $477 million -- about half the tab -- for the project. That sum may not be a challenge for a billionaire, and it's even easier when loans from the NFL cover that share, and that has fans looking at possible naming rights and seat licenses as a sweeter.

"I'm a huge fan," Paul Willette told FOX 9 News. "Huge, huge fan."

He's got a dog named Moss and his boys are already wearing pre-season pajamas, so it's clear that Willette bleeds purple.

"My kids -- I got them brainwashed, and I hope for a good season," Willette.

As a season ticket holder, however, the idea of personal seat licenses doesn't sit well after 12 years of loyal attendance.

"It doesn't make me too happy that I'm going to have to pay that extra fee on top of what we pay for those tickets," he admitted.

So far, the team hasn't said whether or not they will have PSL fees for season-ticket holders, but more than a dozen teams in the league already do -- including three of the four franchises that recently built new stadiums. The San Francisco 49s charged a one-time fee of $2,000-$80,000 per seat.

"We have been talking about different options," Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority confirmed, "but nothing has been finalized."

Although the MSFA hasn't agreed to anything at this point, Vikings fans are already bracing. Meanwhile, ticket sales professionals say the team could convince the die-hards to pay up.

"There is a core group of Vikings fans that will pay whatever it takes to get the seat they want," Mike Nowakowski, of Ticket King, told FOX 9 News.

Yet, there may be a larger majority who say the PSLs are too rich for their blood.

"I don't think they'll pay the kind of money that people in San Francisco and New York and some of the markets that have utilized the seat license to pay for part of this stadium," Nowakowski said.

The stadium legislation allows the team to collect license fees, but as it's already a publicly-financed stadium, Willette says fans shouldn't be paying to offset the Wilfs' portion.

"If it was maybe another $2,000, I probably wouldn't do it," he said.

Even Nowakowski is skeptical that the long-time season-ticket holders would be willing to take on what the team may want to ask for.

"My gut tells me that a lot of people that have been on the 50 yard line for the past 20 years aren't going to be willing to pay what the Vikings want for that type of seat," he conceded.

The team had once floated a $50 million figure at the Capitol. To put that in perspective, the new Meadowlands stadium, where both the Jets and Giants play, the two teams collected more than $700 million through PSLs by essentially selling the same seats twice.

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