Vikes Heading to San Antonio

A year ago, the thought of playing a preseason game in San Antonio was seen as a coup for Red McCombs and Saints owner Tom Benson. A year later, it looks like the plan may have backfired.

It was clear a year ago when the Vikings and Saints held a joint press conference in San Antonio that their 2001 preseason game would be a bargaining chip for both clubs -- each looking for a new stadium deal and both hoping to use San Antonio as a means to squeeze the home front as an option to get a stadium deal accomplished.

But, as both teams prepare for Saturday's preseason opener, the plan may have backfired. Despite selling 8,000 tickets in a heavy push since last weekend, there are still just 36,000 seats sold -- leaving about 20,000 tickets still unused. The disappointing turnout for ticket sales doesn't bode well for San Antonio. While established NFL cities often don't sell out preseason games, new venues that get a taste of the NFL typically have sold out games to show the league the desire to get a franchise.

Most upset over the lackluster sales is Saints owner Benson. He had been given a guaranteed money option for the game, which is viewed by the NFL as a home game, or a gate receipt option. He chose the latter, which is directly tied into ticket sales revenue -- a decision he now regrets. He tried to get out of that agreement as well as getting the league to add another preseason home game to increase his revenue, but those ideas were shot down by the league and he is stuck with the outcome.

* The Vikings will have two brief practices at the Alamodome. The first will be tomorrow from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and the second will be a walk-through from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Friday.
* Moe Williams sat out practice Tuesday with a bruised foot, but the injury isn't expected to be too serious or sideline him for long.

Viking Update Top Stories