"I was told by one of our public relations guys that we don't sell out exhibition games," McCombs said. "I said that was going to change and it started with us never using the term ‘exhibition game' ever again. Any NFL game is a product worth seeing, whether it's in the preseason, the regular season or the postseason. Period."
McCombs made it cool to attend a preseason game and, given the success of the 1998 Vikings, selling tickets wasn't a problem. A waiting list formed that, slowly over time, whittled down. Some got out because of the cost. Some got out because they didn't like Brad Childress. Others got out because of the downturn of the national economy.
For whatever the reasons, the waiting list is no more and moving tickets isn't always easy. The streak continues. Since McCombs made that defiant pronouncement in 1998, the Vikings have sold out all 135 games played at the Metrodome since. However, the streak has included the occasional TV bulk purchase of tickets or an inordinate number of kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs being in attendance.
As the Vikings look to start a new legacy in 2011 after a down 2010 season, the team is looking to fill the stadium by any means necessary – including a two-for-one offer.
On the team's website is an offer to get tickets for the first two home games of the season – Sept. 18 vs. Tampa Bay and Sept. 25 vs. Detroit – for 50 percent off.
The offer is set to expire Wednesday but will give fans a chance to see games that they might not otherwise be able to afford. If Green Bay or Chicago was on the early schedule, the team may not have had to make such an offer to fans on the fence. It seems that once the season gets going, the fan frenzy increases and tickets get sold.
Whether it's that the Buccaneers and Lions aren't the most attractive opponents or a sign of things to come, the Vikings are taking steps to make sure they maintain their Domefield advantage – even if it means cutting the price on upper-level tickets.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for 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.