2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Fine print in Vikings deal leaves little to chance

By BRIAN BAKST - Associated Press
    2013-10-08 01:20

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Decode the legalese and the 222-page lease agreement binding the Minnesota Vikings to 30 years or more in their soon-to-be-built stadium shows in great detail who calls the shots, who gets to cash in and who can use the place when the football team isn't.

The finer points of the agreement, approved Thursday by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, were overshadowed last week attention to the average $2,500 seat license fee that season ticketholders must pay. Up close, though, the lease leaves little to chance.

---

THE NAME GAME

In professional sports, stadium names are a big-buck enterprise. Department store retailer Target paid many millions for the namesakes of the Twins' and Timberwolves' homes. Xcel Energy Inc. has its name atop the Wild's hockey arena.

The Vikings will have the exclusive right to sell and profit from a pair of naming-rights deals for the new stadium and adjacent fan plaza. The contract disallows any name connected to a tobacco company, firearms firm or political entity, and gives the authority some veto power. Twin Cities-based corporations are considered pre-approved.

---

THE WINDFALL CLAUSE

The stadium is expected to handsomely increase the value of the franchise, so the lease guards against any attempt by owners Mark and Zygi Wilf to cash out quick. If they do unload a majority stake in the team, they'll have to split the profits with the public.

The state of Minnesota and city of Minneapolis are in line for a windfall payment that diminishes over time. If a sale happened before May 2022, the owners would forfeit a quarter of their ``premium,'' defined as the increment above what they paid for the club. The windfall amount drops some over the next decade. If the Wilfs keep the team beyond May 14, 2032, they keep all profits from a sale after that.

---

RENT

While the Vikings score from advertising and concessions revenue on game days, they are on the hook for annual rent. It starts at $8.5 million the year the stadium opens - 2016 is the goal - and climbs 3 percent a year until reaching $20 million in Year 30. Additionally, the team must put $1.5 million into a capital improvement account in Year One; that gradually rises to $3.5 million by the 30th year.

---

AFFORDABLE TICKETS

The Vikings pledged to put 3,250 ``affordable'' tickets out on the market for each game, out of 65,000. What's affordable? That depends on how much other seats cost. In short, affordable tickets can be no more than 80 percent of the average cost in the lowest-priced section, and obstructed view or standing room only tickets can't be factored in.

---

SUPER BOWL

The Vikings must help convince other NFL owners to bring the Super Bowl to Minnesota ``as soon as reasonably practical'' - the earliest it would happen is 2018. Minneapolis last hosted it in 1992.

That's far from the only Super Bowl reference in the pact. If the Vikings were to win a championship, they're assured of having the ``absolute right'' to clear the stadium's schedule to accommodate the NFL's traditional weeknight kickoff of the following season, which features the reigning champion.

---

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

This season, one of the Vikings' eight ``home'' games was in London. The lease gives them to right to play up to six international ``home'' games over the next 30 years without penalty or having to make up for lost revenue. The team will still be on the hook for its full annual rent.

The Vikings can be the visiting team for as many international games as the NFL schedules.

---

TOUR TALK

The authority will operate and keep profits from year-round stadium tour tickets. ``Special access tours'' will include peeks inside the locker rooms and training areas. If the Vikings suspend access to those areas, the authority has recourse, too: It no longer has to end the tours in the team store.

---

STADIUM NO-NOs

For the 350-plus days the Vikings aren't playing, the stadium can be used for a range of events - from rock concerts to fantasy football days to amateur sports competitions to political conventions. But not everything goes: There'll be no events that sell guns, adults-only entertainment and periodicals, pawn-style offerings or head shop paraphernalia.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

Kai ForbathApr 15 10:53p

Washington Redskins restricted free-agent PK Kai Forbath posted on social media Wednesday, April 15, that he has re-signed with the team. The club has not yet confirmed the signing.

George JohnsonApr 15 08:33a

Detroit Lions DE George Johnson was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, April 15. Tampa signed Johnson to an offer sheet that was disputed by Detroit, but the [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 15 12:13a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is under contract for one more season, and he has expressed a desire to play out his deal. However, the Chargers might be [ More ]

Josh GordyApr 14 06:03p

Free-agent CB Josh Gordy (Colts) signed a veteran minimum deal with the New York Giants Tuesday, April 14, according to a source.

Ricardo LocketteApr 14 05:23p

Seattle Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette signed his exclusive-rights tender Tuesday, April 14.

Ike TaylorApr 14 09:32a

Free-agent CB Ike Taylor (Steelers) announced his retirement Tuesday, April 14.

Wade SmithApr 14 02:12a

Free-agent OG Wade Smith (Eagles) announced his retirement after 12 years in the National Football League.

Michael CrabtreeApr 14 01:13a

The Oakland Raiders are giving free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) a one-year, $3 million deal with another $2 million in incentives, a source said Monday, April 13.

Eben BrittonApr 14 01:03a

Free-agent OT Eben Britton (Bears) has been suspended four games by the NFL for an unspecified violation.

Matt ForteApr 13 08:02p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the start of the offseason workouts Monday, April 13, according to sources. Forte is entering the final year of his [ More ]

Cody LatimerApr 13 08:02p

Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer, who is expected to line up across from WR Demaryius Thomas in 2015, has been praised by WR Emmanuel Sanders, who figures to move [ More ]

Joe MaysApr 13 04:32p

Free-agent LB Joe Mays (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Monday, April 13.

Zackary BowmanApr 13 02:22p

Free-agent CB Zack Bowman (Giants) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Monday, April 13.

Sean RichardsonApr 13 02:02p

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson will remain with the Packers after the team decided to match the one-year, $2.55 million offer he signed with the Oakland Raiders, according to a source.

Sean RichardsonApr 12 10:02a

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson signed an offer sheet with the Oakland Raiders, and the Packers have until Monday, April 13, to inform him if they [ More ]

Jason CampbellApr 12 07:02a

Free-agent QB Jason Campbell (Bengals) is considering retirement, according to sources close to the team. Campbell has rejected multiple opportunities to sign a contract for 2015, including offers from [ More ]

James CaseyApr 11 01:02p

Free-agent TE James Casey (Eagles) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Saturday, April 11. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Johnny ManzielApr 11 12:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been released from his rehab facility.

Victor ButlerApr 10 03:22p

New York Giants LB Victor Butler has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs.

Anthony SpencerApr 10 01:12p

Free-agent DE Anthony Spencer (Cowboys) signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints Friday, April 10. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Charles TillmanApr 9 04:02p

Free-agent CB Charles Tillman (Bears) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Thursday, April 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rob HouslerApr 9 12:42p

Free-agent TE Rob Housler (Cardinals) has agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns on a one-year deal, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Le'Veon BellApr 9 09:52a

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell was suspended three games and fined an additional game check after violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to league sources. He has appealed.

Stevan RidleyApr 8 07:53p

New York Jets RB Stevan Ridley signed a one-year deal with the team.

Amobi OkoyeApr 8 04:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Amobi Okoye was released Wednesday, April 8.

Emmanuel LamurApr 8 03:43p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Emmanuel Lamur officially re-signed Wednesday, April 8, to a one-year, $2.356 million deal.

Adrian PetersonApr 8 01:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is 'highly unlikely' to face more suspension from the league when he's finally off the Commissioner's Exempt List, according to a source. Peterson's next [ More ]

George JohnsonApr 7 10:23p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed restricted free-agent DE George Johnson (Lions) to a three-year offer sheet Tuesday, April 7. Financial terms are undisclosed. The Lions have five days to match the offer.

Le'Veon BellApr 7 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell is expected to be suspended for the first two games of next season, according to sources. Bell is being suspended following an arrest last [ More ]

Erin HendersonApr 7 05:13p

Free-agent LB Erin Henderson (Vikings) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, April 7, according to a source. Henderson didn't play last year [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group