The work this summer includes installation of new turf (FieldTurf is being replaced by Sportexe turf) at a cost of $495,000; building an exclusive gathering place known as the Gridiron Club that is being put in on the upper level of the west side where the Twins had their offices ($700,000); fashioning a new Vikings ticket office where the Twins had theirs ($115,000); and an expansion of the Vikings Lounge that will see the elimination of the team's old ticket office ($25,000).
The Gridiron Club will charge 150 members $2,500 per season to join. The 3,800-square foot space does not have a view of the playing field, but it will have all-inclusive food and beverage services, a DirectTV package that will air games on the "Sunday Ticket" package and an outdoor deck on one side that overlooks the current plaza.
"It's going well," LaCroix said of the sales. "We're really trying to target the right season-ticket owners or potential season-ticket owners and companies that have interest in that area. It helps if you have seats on that side of the facility because it will be open pre, during and after the game."
In addition to being able to sell and keep the revenue from naming rights to the field -- there is now a large Mall of America sign on the top of the stadium -- and the gates, the Vikings have taken over the sales of signage inside the Metrodome. That is something the MSFC used to control and at one time was worth $1.9 million; that is no longer the case with fewer people entering the building.
LaCroix isn't exactly sure how much more money this might mean for the Vikings, but it will enable the team to expand the type of multi-platform packages it can offer to sponsors.
"It's something we were always interested in, gaining that control," he said "It was always a little bit awkward not being able to offer full exclusivity in your facility like literally almost all other professional teams can do."
Lester said while the MSFC remains healthy it has been willing to give the Vikings more control of the Dome because if and when the team leaves, the building no longer will be viable.
"The commission's objective was to give [the Vikings] the wherewithal to drive as much revenue as they can and we've literally done every single thing possible to do that," Lester said.