Remember when the NFL said home teams could, if they so chose, modify the ridiculous '100% sellout' rule to 85% if they so chose to avoid the potential of a home blackout?
And before I go into what the Vikings are doing, I think that in this day and age the 100% sell out rule was/is completely stupid. I think it's dumber than Hell knowing that as a Vikings fan living near St. Louis I can see all their games courtesy of the Greatest Invention In The History Of The World, The NFL Sunday Ticket. But folks in Minneapolis, literally blocks away from where the Vikes play, could not, if the game wasn't sold out.
That makes absolutely no sense to me, especially when you contrast that with how much money networks pay to broadcast games, and how much advertising revenue is lost locally in case of a blackout.
It's just a dumb rule, and I'm glad the NFL dropped it down to 85%. In this economy, with the advent of technology, watching the game on TV is more appealing than spending a wad of dough on tickets, another wad of dough on parking, another wad of dough on a Dome dog and a beer, and then you get the luxury of wading through concourses as wide as a PVC pipe to piss in a trough right out of the 18th century.
So the Vikings will be reducing their sellout threshold to 90%. They are doing this for one of three potential reasons:
1) They do not want to give Steve LaCroix (the Vikings Head muchacho of ticket sales) a nervous breakdown trying to get to what might be a difficult threshold if the Vikings aren't as competitive as we hope.
2) They want to avoid the bad press of local blackouts on the heels of the new stadium passing, Other teams, like the Raiders, Dolphins, and Jaguars, dropped it down to the 85% level, but the Vikes chose to keep it at 90%.
3) This is a pre-emptive strike on the Vikes part because they have internal numbers that tell them ticket sales are way down.
I don't know how valid number 3 is, because the Vikings have a pretty hefty sellout streak going at the Metrodome--144 games straight, going back to 1998.
Either way, the already low percentage that the Vikings wouldn't be broadcast on local TV has been dropped to something a little less than zero.