New stadium opener — more Black workers than spectators

Many Blacks wore blue and purple at Sunday’s Minnesota Vikings preseason game at their new downtown stadium, but most of them were employees, not spectators. Could the cost factor be keeping many at bay?

According to vividseats.com, the Vikings’ median ticket price for home games is $245, seventh highest in the National Football League, and that price could be higher, depending on the opponent. The price is $490 for the Sept. 18 contest against Green Bay, and as low as $199 for Indianapolis on December 18. Seattle leads all NFL teams with $395 for regular season home games.

“The tickets [are] too high,” stated Derrick Peterson of Minneapolis to the MSR prior to Sunday’s game. “They [the Vikings] don’t cater to the people that really paying for the stadium.  They cater to the people who can afford it, and they raise the ticket [prices] so high that the minority people can’t afford them.”

(l-r): Marvin McClain, Sam Spiller and Erica Spiller
(l-r): Marvin McClain, Sam Spiller and Erica Spiller (Charles Hallman/MSR News)

Whether local or from out of town, other Blacks briefly interviewed by the MSR expressed similar sentiments. “It seems like honestly it’s more [geared] toward White fans,” said Erica Speller of Phoenix on the noticeable majority of spectators at the stadium being non-Black.

“I’ve seen a few that look like me,” noted Marvin McClain, also of Phoenix.  “But I see a lot of Black people working [at the stadium].”

“They would rather put that money toward something else,” added Sam Speller of Phoenix.

However, Chuck Doughty of Minneapolis suggested another possible reason for the low number of Blacks seen at Vikings games: “We [Blacks] like coming to stuff that’s not overcrowded,” he speculated.  “But it’s good to have a good number of employees here [who are Black].  I like to see them get paid more.”

Doughty, his wife Tiki Doughty, and others told the MSR how impressed they were with the new stadium.

“It’s beautiful,” said Tiki, while her husband quickly added that the old Metrodome, the site where the new stadium now stands, was too uncomfortable. “When you come in here, automatically it’s like ‘Wow!’  You can see the field right when you walk in the front entrance.  It’s real big. This is the Metrodome times 25.”

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(l-r): Krystal Dennis and Leonard Redwood (Charles Hallman/MSR News)

“It is definitely an upgrade from the Metrodome,” noted Lenard Redwood of Roseville.

“I love it.  It is exciting,” added Krystal Dennis of Roseville, who attended her first-ever NFL game.

“It is a wonderful stadium,” said Sam Spiller.

Finally, Redwood and other Blacks said that despite not seeing a lot of Blacks, they still will attend Vikings games. “It is discouraging to me but I think I still will come because I like the experience,” said Dennis.

“This is the first year my parents have season tickets,” concluded Tiki Doughty.  “Hopefully we will get to come to more [games].  Hopefully in time [the Vikings] will lower the prices so people can afford to come as a family.”

 

Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to challman@spokesman-recorder.com.