Dayton, Vikings Square Off Over Seat Licenses

Posted at: 11/13/2012 7:01 PM
By: Brittany Lewis

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's shaping up to be a head to head battle off the field between the Vikings and governor Mark Dayton.  And it comes as discussion over the new stadium is taking place in Rochester.

In a nutshell the proposed seat licenses would require season ticket holders to pay a fee for their seats, typically thousands of dollars, in addition to buying tickets.  But Governor Dayton says, that cost is the owner's responsibility.
"I guess the long and the short of it is, is that it depends on how they apply the license fees and how they are going to do it," said season ticket holder Brandon Lawhead.
Lawhead says he's not opposed to the license fees, if it keeps the prices down in the rest of the stadium.
"I would rather see them do a license fee for those that have money like companies than have them raise prices on everybody throughout the whole stadium and families that wanna take their kids to the game," Lawhead said.
But Governor Dayton is dead set against it.
"The project's strong support came from many regular Minnesotans, not just rich Minnesotans, because they believed the Vikings are also their team. If a new stadium were to betray that trust, it would be better that it not be built."
But Minnesota Sports Facilities Authorities are the ones that ultimately make the decision.
"The authority will decide if this is a good idea or whether or not they will proceed," Rochester Senator David Senjem said.
 But even that may change -- Dayton threatened to strip away that power, through legislative action.
As for the Vikings, they say the idea of seat licenses isn't new.
In a statement the team says, "Stadium builder's licenses were vetted by the Legislature, testified to by Vikings and state of Minnesota negotiators, and most importantly, specifically reflected in the stadium legislation that was passed and signed by the governor."