Vikings scramble with ticket logistics

The Vikings announced their plan with tickets for Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears, basically seating ticket-holders from the upper and lower decks on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Vikings will be playing Monday night at TCF Bank Stadium … with a couple of caveats.

Asked on Thursday afternoon if the change in venue from the Metrodome to TCF Bank Stadium was official, Lester Bagley, Vikings vice president of public affairs and stadium development, replied, "Yes, barring unforeseen issues."

The NFL also weighed in on the big question surrounding Monday night's game between the Vikings and Bears, which was originally scheduled to be played at the Metrodome before the roof collapsed under the weight of 17 inches of snow last weekend.

"It's been official since the dome became unavailable and the university said it could and would host the game," said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, adding some wiggle room to the situation by pointing out the fact that last weekend's venue was changed about 38 hours before game time and moved to Detroit after the Metrodome was deemed inoperable. "Last week at this time it was official that the game against the Giants was going to be played at the dome."

But with the Metrodome housing more than 63,000 fans for Vikings games and TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Gophers, seating about 50,000, plenty of ticket holders for Monday night's game were concerned about what would happen with their tickets for the second straight game.

The Vikings issued their plan on Thursday, basically making it a general admission on first-come, first-serve basis – divided by upper and lower decks – for fans holding tickets to the game.

People who hold tickets for the lower level of the Metrodome will be allowed into the lower level of TCF Bank Stadium on a general admission basis until seating is at capacity, with those gates opening at 5 p.m. and lines starting to form at 4 p.m. – three-and-a-half hours before game time. If the face value of the original ticket is greater than $77, a credit for the difference will be applied to the season ticket owner's account for 2011 season tickets. Single-game purchasers will have a credit applied via Ticketmaster.

Upper-level gates will also be seated on a first-come, first-serve basis for people that held upper-level tickets for the game at the Metrodome. Upper-level gates will open at 5:30 p.m., and any original ticket with a face value of more than $29 will have the difference credited in the same manner as the lower-level tickets.

Season ticket holders also have the option to receive a full credit on their account for the unused ticket if they mail them to the Vikings ticket office (425 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55415) and it is post-marked by Saturday, Dec. 18.

The Vikings and University of Minnesota also agreed that no alcohol will be served at the game and no outside food or beverages will be allowed into the stadium. Parking details are still being worked out.

"This is a difficult situation with no easy solution, so we greatly appreciate our fans' patience in this process," said Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing, in a statement. "We are making every effort to accommodate as many Vikings fans as possible and play a home game here in Minnesota. We're excited about celebrating the 50th season with a return to outdoor football."

Suite owners for Gophers games have priority on the suites at TCF Bank Stadium, and the Vikings and university are working on details to accommodate fans with suites from both venues, but like with the general seating, there are more people with seat reservations than TCF Bank holds.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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