According to an inside source, I wouldn’t be too far off when I said to them that there were more Black workers than Black fans at Sunday’s Minnesota-Cleveland football game at the Metrodome.
A three-year Black female stadium worker told the MSR that she estimates at least 70 percent of the game-day workforce is Black – her husband has worked at the Dome for eight years. As a result it’s safe to say that maybe three to five percent of the 63,000-plus in attendance were Black.
“I’m a diehard Vikings fan, and I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida,” says Sylvester Blue, who now lives in Dallas, Texas. “I’ve been a fan since I was four years old, and I’m 48 now. I work hard all my life and for me to get a chance to come see them live and in person, that’s the ultimate for me.”
J.T. Jones, who was part of a traveling group from Atlanta, Ga. admitted that his group earlier talked about not seeing more Blacks at pro football games, whether in the Twin Cities or his hometown. “We got a good price on tickets,” says Jones. He added that a possible reason for the lack of Blacks at NFL games can be attributed to financial concerns. “We can’t splurge as much as we want to. We pick and choose what we splurge,” he explains. “You look on TV and it never looks like there are Blacks at games.”
“I’m a big football fanatic. I work hard to enjoy the things I love, and football is one of them. This is my pleasure,” admits Blue. “Usually when I travel to these games, there are a group of us, and the guys I travel with are Black. But for this particular game, I’m the only one.”
“Even in Dallas, Blacks typically don’t want to spend that amount of money for an event like this. They see it as a luxury, and it is,” he surmises.
This week’s Another View in the MSR print edition pointed out the average cost of attending a Vikings game – tickets, drinks, food, programs, team knick-knacks and parking comes up to around $450 a person for one game. This single-game cost equals to four monthly cable bills, five tanks of gas or perhaps a couple of trips to the grocery store. It isn’t any more comforting to know that you save $13 dollars by paying to see a team that has had only three winning seasons in the last four years, or that you can go see the Wild, Wolves and Twins – three other lovable losing clubs for a lot less.
But not that much less.
Harut surmises that he can’t blame other Blacks for not coming to Vikings games. “There are a lot of Blacks who are Vikings fans since [the team] started. My mom and a lot of my family members all like the Vikings but some of them can’t afford to come to the games, so we have to watch it on TV. If you can get the tickets at a discount, that’s when you will see a lot of minorities here. It’s not cheap to come here,” he concludes.
More images from the Minnesota-Cleveland game
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