MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Friday afternoon, the Minnesota Vikings announced new plans to add more seats to TCF Bank Stadium Monday.
Vikings Vice President of Sales and Marketing Steve LaCroix announced the team will be able to accommodate just fewer than 54,000 fans.
In the new plan, 3,000 fans will be able to watch from a standing room-only area in the open end zone.
“We are trying to get that crowd from 63,000 (at Mall of America Field) down to just under 54,000. We feel very confident that we’re going to be in a nice zone there,” said LaCroix. “At this point we can’t guarantee that, but again we are feeling very confident that there is going to be no one turned away.”
The team announced earlier this week that Monday’s tickets are general admission and seats are a first-come, first-serve basis until the space runs out.
But some season ticket holders say that leaves them out in the cold.
Anoka resident Marian Owens has been a season ticket holder for 30 years. Monday would have marked her 240th game, most of them in the same seats.
“After 30 years and we’re looking at over $40,000 we have invested in this team, and that’s what we get is general admission, stand in line at 4 o’clock? And then you aren’t even guaranteed that you’re going to get a seat. I guess I am at a loss,” said Owens.
Owens said the Vikings should have left season ticket holders with some sort of priority seats.
“I feel that they betrayed us on that part,” Owens said from her living room, where she has a purple Vikings Christmas tree. “They say they care about the fans, but do they really? Phone calls haven’t been returned, e-mails, none of that.”
She says come Monday, it won’t be just the weather that’s bitter. She isn’t sure she will attend the game on principle.
“It’s left a bad taste and I bet I am not alone,” she said.
LaCroix acknowledged it’s not an ideal situation, but he emphasized it is the team’s best option. He also says season ticket holders are eligible for refunds.
“You hope that ‘Minnesota Nice’ prevails,” said LaCroix. “It’s our 50th celebration, our last home game of the year. We are outdoors on national TV.”
LaCroix also says Williams Arena will be used as a warming house and space to watch the pregame or to protect fans from weather. However, it’s up to fans to dress warmly.
Friday, the Vikings also announced they have added about 100 extra entry gates for fans to pass through. They’ve also added extra security.
WCCO-TV’s Lindsey Seavert Reports