Vikings' streak of selling out regular-season games in Dome ends
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings' streak of sold out, regular-season games at the Metrodome came to end Sunday afternoon against Jacksonville.
The streak had reached 144 games (including preseason, regular season and playoffs), dating to the 1998 season, and actually ended when exhibition games against Buffalo and San Diego last month failed to fill the Dome.
The Vikings, who went 3-13 last season, announced an attendance of 56,607 for Sunday's 26-23 overtime victory of the Jaguars. The listed seating capacity for the Dome is 63,725.
Sunday's game was not blacked out in the Twin Cities because the Vikings took advantage of a new NFL rule that enables them to declare that if they sold 90 percent of tickets for a home game it would be aired locally on TV.
Several times in recent years, the team had to go to great lengths to sell all the available seats in the Dome to avoid a blackout.
As Sunday's game kicked off there were rows of empty seats in the second deck, a clear indication that walk-up sales on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in the Twin Cities wouldn't be strong enough to draw a capacity crowd.
Sunday's home opener might be the second-to-last in the building.
The team's new stadium, which will sit on the Metrodome footprint, is due to open in 2016. That means the Vikings could spend the 2014 and 2015 seasons playing at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus. It's certain the Vikings will play the 2015 season in the Gophers stadium.