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Updated: February 7th, 2014 2:45pm
Wetmore: Who is paying for the Wilfs' chunk of the stadium?

Wetmore: Who is paying for the Wilfs' chunk of the stadium?

by Derek Wetmore
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Details emerged Friday about the Personal Seat License fees that will accompany 75 percent of seats in the new stadium, according to Rochelle Olson of the Star Tribune.

Three out of every four stadium-goers will buy in for this program, assuming the stadium sells out, which it will. 

The Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority are calling the fees "seat builders licenses" or SBLs. The San Francisco 49ers also referred to these as SBLs, during the construction of Levi's Stadium, which is scheduled to open next season. 

No matter what you call them, these PSLs are another source of money that will go the team's contribution. The stadium likely will cost about $1 billion, and the Wilf family will contribute $518 million, according to Olson's report.

But don't mistake that for the Wilfs fronting half the cost of the future palace.

The most expensive seat license for the Vikings will cost $9,500, according to Olson, but seats without club access will not go for more than $2,000.

1. These PSLs will raise $100 million of the Vikings' contribution.

The naming rights deal, whenever it's signed, also will go to the team's contribution. What can the Wilfs hope to earn on such a deal?

Well, the Niners agreed in May to a deal with Levi Strauss & Co. for a 20-year, $220 million deal for the stadium set to open in Santa Clara, Calif. That stadium bill was about $1.2 billion. The next-most recent NFL stadium is MetLife stadium, which has a naming rights deal between $17 million and $20 million annually, according to the New York Times.

Let's make a more conservative estimate for the Vikings. Maybe they deal five years shorter and worth less than half the annual value of the naming rights contract the 49ers signed. That's 15 years at $10 million per annum, or a $150 naming rights deal. Any new naming rights money beyond that point also would go to the team's coffers, but for the sake of being conservative, let's still with $150 million.

2. That $150 million from a naming rights deal goes to the team's contribution, too.

The Vikings also received a $200 million "loan" from the NFL to help offset the costs of building a new stadium. The Vikings will have to repay the money from the league, but it can come out of revenue sharing funds the team already would have had to pay to the league. So in essence, they're redirecting money they already would be paying to the NFL to help repay off the "loan."

3. That $200 million NFL loan goes to the team's contribution.

Those three deals add up, and the NFL, a title sponsor and 75 percent of stadium goers will foot the bill for $450 million of the Vikings' $518 million payment.

That's the big business of the NFL.

I'm not bemoaning the fact that this is how the business works. It's certainly fine for Vikings fans to be excited about the stadium. It appears it will be beautiful.

But it's helpful to have an accurate picture of who will pay for it.

The People's Stadium: If they build it, they will come.

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for His previous stops include and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore