On Sunday, we asked subscribers what they thought were some of the issues surrounding the Vikings' struggles to sell out games despite a 7-1 record. Inside are some of the responses we received.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Vikings still had about 1,000 tickets left to sell for the Detroit and Seattle games.
They have sold out every game since 1997, but it hasn't been easy. The season-ticket waiting list has disappeared and they needed corporate help last year. So what gives? Why would a 7-1 team not have every remaining home game sold out? After offering some of our guesses for the problem
, we asked VikingUpdate.com subscribers that question. Here are some of their responses:
I think all your points are on target. I will also add that I think Vikings fans have the not-so-distant memories of 1998, 2000 and the 6-0 start of 2003. A lot of Vikings fans are cautious about getting caught up in things, and take the approach of "I'll believe it when I see it," and don't want to set themselves up for another disappointment.
—Brad and Jamie Christianson, East Grand Fork, Minn.
I think the attendance issues have little to do with the popularity/support of the Vikings and everything to do with the economy and unemployment. The "I better be careful because that could be me and my job-loss" mentality. Better to watch the game on TV and save the stadium money for a house payment in case worse comes to worse. Attendance/demand will pick up as soon as the jobs outlook gets back to normal, just wait and see!
—Bob Swedberg, St. Peter, Minn.
I'm gonna take a crack at this one. I think maybe the economy might have a little to do with it. People are still going to the games but maybe they're choosing fewer games to attend, going to the better matchups. I also believe maybe the people are making a bit of a stand to try to get a stadium deal done. I wish I could attend more games. I'm a Vikings fan on the East Coast, been there before and I try to attend their games anytime they're here on the East Coast. I think we have a really strong fan base but just really feel with people's budgets these days they're forced to scale back a bit.
—Mike from Penn.
I have a theater with a 108-inch screen. Better than that, I have a Tivo. I watch at least two games, sometimes three, while the Vikings are playing. I've had NFL Sunday Ticket since it started. Instead of sitting in my recliner, I could fight traffic, stand in line, and pay many dollars, and endure all the commercial breaks. No thanks.
—Dennis Duin, Louisville, Neb.
I believe the attendance problem is simply money. No jobs, etc. I grew up in Wayzata, but left in 1986. My son still has our four season tickets.
—Dave Owen, Naples, Fla.
I think the economy is also a factor in what you are trying to describe a ticket problem. I live in Sioux Fall, SD, and have six season tickets, but it's hard for a lot of us to get up there and back, given hotel charges, etc. From what I have noticed over here, there is equal if not more excitement than 1998.
The ticket prices are too high. I can take my family of five to a Twins game for less than the price of a single Vikings ticket. The cheaper tickets are sold before I get a chance to buy them. I have been a fan for all 49 years of their existence, but have only been to three games in those years, but rarely miss one on TV. I am a much bigger fan of the Vikings than Twins, but attend two or three Twins games a year because they are affordable.
—Bob James, Cohasset, Minn.
There seems to be a general attitude amongst a lot of Minnesotans that they are far too cultured to worry about something as blue collar as a pro football team. I think there is also an attitude that they have lost a basketball team and a hockey team (both have gone on to become league champions elsewhere) and gotten new professional teams and they can just replace the Vikings when they are darn good and ready, too. Meanwhile, the state pours precious tax dollars into items with no return, like some of the most generous and liberal social programs in the nation.
—Tony Waller, Lemmon, SD
The reason fans aren't going crazy over the Vikings' performance so far this season is that many of them still remember 1998. Just as someone who has caught a spouse or steady significant other cheating on them, the fans are a little leery of investing their hearts totally again, for fear of having them ripped out! 1998 was so painful for a large percentage of us, we just are being cautious. Our love for our Norsemen is deep, no question.
—David Seay, Indianapolis, Ind.
I am a five-year season ticket owner from Sioux Falls and drive up for all the games and I agree with your assessment on reasons why many tickets still remain. I still think Brad Childress is the No. 1 reason (for right or wrong).
Other possible reasons:
1. Bandwagon fans still haven't gotten over the 1998 season or the 41-0 of 2000; they don't want to get fooled again.
2. Bandwagon fans still haven't gotten over the fact that Randy Moss is no longer a Viking.
3. Bandwagon fans still can't reconcile the fact that Brett Favre is a Viking.
4. Minnesotans are delusional in thinking the Gophers are the state's best football team and will be a perennial powerhouse like Ohio State and Penn State because of their new stadium.
Keep up the good work, the diehards are still here and hopefully the Vikings will be too for many years to come.
—Reid Jorgensen, Sioux Falls, SD