Monday, December 13, 2010
The task of shifting a home game
By Kevin Seifert
DETROIT -- Many of you have asked about the economic impact of shifting Monday night's game from the Metrodome to Ford Field. You're wondering how much ticket and concession revenue the Minnesota Vikings will lose and who is paying the expenses associated with putting on the game at a neutral site.
Both the Vikings and the NFL are keeping those answers close to the vest at this point. Sunday, Vikings vice president for sales and marketing Steve LaCroix said: "We will not begin to delve into the economic ramifications until we have taken care of the more pressing needs of our fans, our business partners and our football team."
If I had to guess, I would bet the Vikings and/or the NFL, will seek relief from the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission (MSFC), the government entity that owns and operates the Metrodome. Ultimately, the MSFC bears responsibility for maintaining the roof, which collapsed Sunday morning under more than a foot of snow.
Absent those answers, I wanted to pass along some interesting (at least to me) nuggets about how this evening is being organized into what amounts to a Vikings home game:
- The team has partnered with Sun Country Airlines to sell out four chartered jets that will take fans from the Twin Cities to Detroit and back on Monday.
- A total of 16 cheerleaders and two mascots have made the trip, including the infamous Ragnar. The Lions have secured a Harley-Davidson for Ragnar to ride onto the field.
- The Lions are doing their best to replicate the Metrodome's end zone, using stencils the Vikings brought from the Metrodome. New York Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon posted this picture of the field painting in progress.
- The Lions have also lent out much of their game-day equipment, including headsets and other communication devices.
- The Vikings brought some members of their in-house production crew to work with the Ford Field staff to play music and re-create some of the standard elements of in-game entertainment at the Metrodome.
- ARAMARK, the Metrodome's primary caterer, donated the food it prepared for Sunday's game to the Twin Cities Second Harvest Heartland, a local food shelter.
- A crowd beyond capacity is expected to descend on Ford Field. The Lions gave away 30,000 tickets Monday morning before closing their box office doors. Fans who had tickets to Sunday's game between the Lions and Green Bay Packers can also get in, and priority seating will be given to fans who have tickets to the originally scheduled game. Something tells me the total number of people trying to get in could be more than the 64,500 the building holds.
See you in a few hours.