MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Like the Vikings themselves, Hubert’s Sports Bar across the street from Mall of America Field has a loyal fan base of their own.
“We have people who have been coming in for years,” manager Jody Anderly said. “They have their favorite table, their favorite server, and they’re not going to vary their routine at all.”
The entire staff is called in on game day. Some downtown bars can pull in up to $20,000 or more on any given Sunday.
But with this weekend’s home game 4,000 miles away, even if the Vikings win in London, it could be a loss back in Minneapolis.
Money that would be spent around the Dome is instead spent overseas.
“That’s not good for business, but nobody asked us so we don’t have any say about it,” Anderly said.
The NFL will make money on Sunday and the Vikings will be fully reimbursed for their travel expenses. But just like Hubert’s, TicketKing will miss out.
“It’s pretty disappointing, but what can you do,” said TicketKing co-owner Brian Obert.
Obert said they have eight regular season homes games to try and make money off the Vikings. Losing just one is kind of like taking a sack.
“Especially when we have the opportunity to have the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Metrodome,” Obert said. “After the Packers, that would be the best game of the year because their fans travel so well.”
Hubert’s said they lost a lot of business when the Twins left the Dome and moved across town to Target Field.
And next year, the Vikings will be playing at TCF Bank Stadium for a couple seasons.
Downtown hotels are telling a different story. Some said that rooms not filled by visiting Vikings fans have been filled by other travelers.
In fact, a number of hotels said they are already booked for Friday and Saturday night.