Reporting Esme Murphy
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It’s no secret the Minnesota Vikings have had their share of problems on the field this year. Now comes word that they haven’t sold enough tickets and the game on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints may be blacked out.
The Vikings have about 3500 tickets left to sell by noon on Thursday in order to avoid a blackout.
A spokesperson for Fox says “it’s just too early to tell” if the game will be blacked out.
Despite the fact the team has a 2-11 record, they remain a hit on TV. This past Sunday’s game, which ended with another last minute loss, was another ratings hit with 60 percent of all people watching TV in the metro area tuning in.
The Vikings are one of the most successful teams, at least in terms of ratings, in the league.
John Rash is a member of the Star Tribune Editorial Board and a Professor of Mass Media at the University of Minnesota.
“They almost always in the top 10, sometimes within the top five. They’re having one of their worst seasons ever and yet on any given Sunday, at least a third of people around town will be watching the game and sometimes even more,” Rash said.
The ratings provide a powerful incentive to the Fox Network, its local affiliate and the Minnesota Vikings to make sure the game gets on the air.
“Where it really hits hard is for the affiliate that isn’t able to carry the game,” Rash said.
If the game is blacked out, ticket brokers like Ticket King would likely sell more tickets, but they even believe the game will make it on TV.
“Sales are definitely not what they were two years ago,” said Cortney Storsved with Ticket King.
And if you do want to go the game — you should be able to get a great bargain.
“There are a lot of seats moving for less than face value or right around face value, so it’s a pretty good time to buy if you’re a Vikings fan,” Storsved said.
There have been other occasions over the years when the Vikings have been close to getting blacked-out, but at the last minute either the team or the network stepped in to buy seats.
A spokesperson for Fox would not say if the network would buy any extra seats.
The Vikings have not been blacked out for 14 years. Officially, the Vikings say they feel “good” about how ticket sales are going and that they will have an update announcement on Thursday morning just before the noon deadline.