Still Some Blackout Concerns in Minnesota

There’s an interesting report this weekend about some lingering ticket sales concerns for the Vikings. Many people, myself included, figured that any blackout possibilities would go out the window once Favre arrived in town – but that hasn’t quite been the case. No home game has sold out to this point and 6,000 season tickets are still available, reports Judd Zulgad. There was a surge of sales when Favre joined the team, but it didn't clean out the inventory.

So what’s the deal? Well, tickets are expensive, and the economy is still struggling – which is undoubtedly a contributing factor to the lagging ticket sales. Single-game tickets range in price from $15.00-$135.00, so anyone who wants decent seats should plan on dropping a couple hundred bucks. And then you have parking and concessions, which aren’t cheap either. By the time you're done, you've spent a great deal of money.

Even seats in the lower-level endzone, where I sit, will cost you about $85.00 apiece – and that’s when purchased directly through the Vikings to avoid Ticketmaster’s 10,000 different fees and service charges.

In addition to that (or because of that), people seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach to this team. Sure, Brett Favre merchandise was all over the place when I went to the State Fair last week, but there appears to be a line between buying a Favre t-shirt and buying tickets to a game. While it’s compelling to have Favre in Minnesota, this team still needs to deliver on the field. Then people will buy up the remaining tickets.

I think that’s arguably the biggest issue causing ticket sales to lag. People want to see results before they pony up and buy tickets. As a result, coming out of the first few regular season games with wins should significantly reduce the chances of a blackout occurring. Struggling out of the gate could once again require Fox to buy some tickets for charity to avoid a blackout. Ultimately, hype alone isn't doing the job at the box office.

Still, despite the economic and "just win, baby" factors, it’s surprising that ticket sales haven’t been stronger. I don’t want to go through another season of ticket sales being the biggest storylines during the weeks leading up to home games – but thankfully, if this team does what it’s supposed to do during a weak early-season schedule, blackouts should become a non-issue. Here's hoping this is the last time I mention the possibility of a blackout.

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