Reporting Holly Wagner
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The head of the authority overseeing construction of a new Minnesota Vikings stadium says she expects any fees for personal seat licenses would be in line with those charged for other new stadiums recently built in the state.
Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority chairwoman Michelle Kelm-Helgen says the legislation authorizing the new stadium gives the team clear authority to pursue the licenses.
The licenses are common in the NFL, with some teams charging many thousands of dollars. The issue blew up this week when Gov. Mark Dayton came out against them.
The Minnesota Twins charged $1,000 to $2,000 on a small number of premium seats at Target Field.
Vikings vice president Lester Bagley told the authority at its meeting Friday that the team hasn’t made a decision on licenses.
Bagley said the team has have been very forthright and clear in this process, and suggested Dayton and others are getting ahead of themselves with talk that these personal seat licenses could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
On Thursday, Dayton said the seat licenses may have been in the plan, but that the Vikings weren’t forthcoming with their intention for the cost and number of personal seat licenses for the new stadium.
The Vikings recently sent out a survey to some season ticket holders, gauging their opinions on personal seat licenses, which is what sparked the debate.
Bagley said the Vikings are far from making a decision on this.
“This is not Dallas. This is not New York. This is not San Francisco,” he said. “A lot of people are jumping the gun as to what they’re thinking we would do in a stadium builder’s license program. We have not made a decision. The market has to be surveyed. We’re doing our homework.”
Bagley said this is the first survey they put out, and they plan to seek a lot more input from fans.
Kelm-Helgen said they plan to work very closely with the Vikings on this issue. She seemed on board with the idea that there will likely be personal seat licenses.
She said both the Twins and Gophers have seat licenses — annual for the Gophers, and a one-time fee for the Twins, who capped their seat licenses at $2,000.
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