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.



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 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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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

Julio JonesOct 13 12:32p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring, toe) is expected to play Thursday, Oct. 15, against the New Orleans Saints, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

Josh JohnsonOct 13 12:22p

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Colts) was signed to the Buffalo Bills' 53-man roster Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Le'Veon BellOct 13 01:22a

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell carried 21 times for 111 yards and the game-winning touchdown with no time left in regulation in Week 5 against the San Diego Chargers [ More ]

Philip RiversOct 13 01:12a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers completed 35 of his 48 pass attempts for 365 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Week 5 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday, Oct. 12.

Antonio GatesOct 13 01:12a

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates posted game highs with nine receptions, 92 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 5 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday, Oct. 12.

Antonio BrownOct 13 01:12a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown had three receptions for 45 yards in the Week 5 game against the San Diego Chargers Monday, Oct. 12. He was targeted six times.

Steve JohnsonOct 12 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared CB Craig Mager, DL Darius Philon, RB Donald Brown, OT King Dunlap, OG Orlando Franklin, WR Stevie Johnson, LB Tourek Williams inactive for Week 5.

B. RoethlisbergerOct 12 07:12p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared LB Anthony Chickillo, QB Ben Roethlisberger, OG Chris Hubbard, CB Cortez Allen, DL Daniel McCullers, TE Jesse James, LB Ryan Shazier inactive for Week 5.

Julio JonesOct 12 07:02p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring, toe) did not participate in practice Monday, Oct. 12.

B. RoethlisbergerOct 12 06:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (knee) wants to play in the Week 6 game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Steelers have not ruled out the possibility of Roethlisberger playing but consider it a longshot.

Justin ForsettOct 12 06:02p

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (ankle) avoided a high-ankle sprain in a Week 5 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Head coach John Harbaugh said Forsett could still play this week.

Jamaal CharlesOct 12 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles' (knee) MRI confirmed a torn anterior cruciate ligament, according to a source. Charles will likely miss the rest of the season.

Peyton ManningOct 12 05:32p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning won't be benched in favor of QB Brock Osweiler, according to head coach Gary Kubiak. 'No. Peyton is doing just fine.'

S. RichardsonOct 12 04:02p

New York Jets DE Sheldon Richardson was officially added to New York's active roster Monday, Oct. 12. TE Wes Saxton was waived.

Jordan ReedOct 12 03:52p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion, knee, ankle) has shown some improvement but is still going through the concussion protocol, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Joe HadenOct 12 03:52p

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden (concussion) is expected to miss Week 6 against the Denver Broncos due to concussion protocol.

Blake BortlesOct 12 03:22p

Updating previous reports, Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' (shoulder) sprained his throwing shoulder Sunday, Oct. 11, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is uncertain if Bortles will be able [ More ]

Josh McCownOct 12 03:12p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown (ankle) suffered an ankle sprain in a Week 5 win against the Baltimore Ravens. He is hopeful he'll be able [ More ]

Marques ColstonOct 12 03:02p

New Orleans Saints WR Marques Colston (shoulder) has at least a separated shoulder and could have some structural damage in the shoulder, according to a source. Colston suffered the [ More ]

Antone SmithOct 12 03:02p

Free-agent RB Antone Smith (Falcons) signed with the Chicago Bears Monday, Oct. 12. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Jacquizz RodgersOct 12 02:52p

Chicago Bears RB Jacquizz Rodgers (arm) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Oct.12, because of a fractured arm.

Dwight FreeneyOct 12 02:32p

Free-agent LB Dwight Freeney (Chargers) signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals Monday, Oct. 12, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Odell Beckham Jr.Oct 12 02:22p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is dealing with a hamstring injury, but the team hopes he will be able to practice on at least a limited [ More ]

Marshawn LynchOct 12 02:02p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (hamstring) should be able to play in Week 6 against the Carolina Panthers if he doesn't suffer any setbacks this week, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Blake BortlesOct 12 02:02p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (shoulder) likely will not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 14, but that should not indicate his status for the Week 6 game against the [ More ]

Blake BortlesOct 12 01:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (shoulder) suffered a Grade 1 shoulder sprain during the team's Week 5 game and his status will be updated later in the week, according to head coach Gus Bradley.

Charcandrick WestOct 12 12:52p

Kansas City Chiefs RBs Charcandrick West and Knile Davis both expect to split carries with RB Jamaal Charles (knee) expected to miss the rest of the season, and head [ More ]

Andrew LuckOct 12 12:52p

Indianapolis Colts QBs Andrew Luck (shoulder) and Matt Hasselbeck (illness) both practiced in full Monday, Oct. 12, according to head coach Chuck Pagano. Luck missed the last two weeks [ More ]

Matthew StaffordOct 12 11:22a

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford will remain the starting quarterback, despite being benched in Week 5 Sunday, Oct. 11.

Josh JohnsonOct 12 11:12a

Indianapolis Colts QB Josh Johnson was released Monday, Oct. 12.

Dez BryantOct 12 10:22a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (foot) had bone marrow stem cells removed from his hip and injected into his ankle last week to help improve the healing process. The [ More ]

Matt CasselOct 12 02:02a

Dallas Cowboys QB Matt Cassel could get a chance in Week 7 after the team's bye, as head coach Jason Garrett said Sunday, Oct. 11, he will evaluate a [ 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