The Vikings' partnership with the Mall of America provides at least one additional revenue stream for the remaining two-plus years left on the team's Metrodome lease.
With the Minnesota Twins playing their final game at the Metrodome Sunday barring a potential playoff run, the Vikings are going to be the sole big-name tenant of the Metrodome. As such, the Vikings announced a partnership with the Mall of America for naming rights to the playing field.
As a way of creating some additional money at the revenue-starved Metrodome, the Vikings will now be playing on Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The team signed a three-year naming agreement that runs through Feb. 28, 2012.
"Branding the field as Mall of America Field represent an opportunity to share out name image with an even larger nationwide audience," said Maureen Bausch, executive vice president of business development for MOA. "It all connects two treasured Minnesota brands – Mall of America and the Minnesota Vikings
– which add value to both companies."
As part of the agreement, Mall of America Field will be branded with new interior and exterior signage, as well as various promotional materials. The Vikings have a longstanding partnership with MOA, including draft parties and autograph sessions with players. Adrian Peterson
is scheduled to do an autograph signing Oct. 13 and the Vikings Cheerleader Holiday Show is scheduled for Nov. 9. The co-branding with MOA is an opportunity the Vikings are excited about as well.
"This was a great opportunity for the Vikings to uniquely partner with a very prominent business that has a deep commitment to the Minnesota community," said Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing. "As another step in re-branding the stadium for the short-term, we hope Mall of America Field continues to give the team an important home-field advantage while providing many exciting memories for our fans."
The first injury report for the Vikings and Packers was released Thursday. Two Vikings didn't participate in Thursday's practice – guard Steve Hutchinson (back) and wide receiver Darius Reynaud (hamstring). Several others were limited, including E.J. Henderson (shoulder), Erin Henderson (calf), Brett Favre (foot), Cedric Griffin (hand), Jim Kleinsasser (hand), Naufahu Tahi (back) and Chris Kluwe (illness).
For the Packers, two players are already listed as out – safety Atari Bigby (knee) and running back Brandon Jackson (ankle). Four other players did not participate Thursday in practice – OT Chad Clifton (ankle), DT Cullen Jenkins (groin), LB Jeremy Thompson (knee) and CB Charles Woodson (foot).
The Milwaukee Burger Co. restaurant in Eau Claire, Wis., was planning a promotion for Monday's game – "Burn Brett Favre Gear Night." Turns out the local fire department took issue with an indoor burning and the plan has been scuttled. The bar can still burn one Favre jersey, but no more than that. The bar is pledging $10 to charity for every Favre item donated.
Former Viking Jack Del Rio is fighting for his head coaching life down in Jacksonville and has been making some decisions that have some wondering about his motivation. He announced Thursday that he was pulling the plug on quarterback David Garrard's weekly radio show on Fridays, claiming that, just 48 hours from game time, Garrard needs to be focused on the game, not a radio commitment.
The Raiders waived cornerback John Bowie this week. Who is he? The player the Raiders acquired from New England in the Randy Moss trade. He joins Troy Williamson, the Vikings first-round pick received in the Moss-to-Oakland trade, as a draft pick traded for Moss that never panned out.
The rosters for the new United Football League are in and include some former Vikings. RB Obafemi Ayanbadejo and LB Dontarrious Thomas are on the roster for the California Redwoods. QB Brooks Bollinger and TE Jermaine Wiggins are on the roster of the Florida Tuskers. And wide receiver Koren Robinson is on the roster of the New York Sentinals.