In all of the excitement over the Minnesota Vikings' 26-23 overtime victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon, there was one thing that was a bit of a downer.
ESPN NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert brings us the numbers.
Very quietly, the Vikings' 14-year sellout streak ended Sunday. Attendance was announced at 56,607 at the Metrodome, enough to ensure a local television broadcast under new rules enacted for this season but not enough to fill a stadium that technically has capacity for 64,111. To be clear, there have been many games in recent years where far less than capacity showed up. The NFL's new rule simply alleviated the need for a corporate sponsor, or the Vikings, to buy leftover tickets to avoid a television blackout. From what I understand, fans were plenty loud in the second half Sunday. And I don't necessarily blame locals for not flocking to a home schedule that includes matchups against the AFC South in a building whose days are numbered.
This really isn't that big a deal, but it is still a bit of a bummer to see that streak come to an end. It doesn't particularly worry me because, as Seifert notes, the building was still plenty loud yesterday. The Vikings have a new stadium coming in the next few years here, and I'm guessing they're not going to have that problem once the new building opens up. They probably won't have that issue during the years they play at TCF Bank Stadium, either.
But, regardless of how many people saw it, the Vikings are 1-0. And the folks that were in attendance yesterday were treated to, in my completely neutral and unbiased opinion, the best game of the opening weekend of the National Football League.