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Seat license scuffle

November 15, 2012
The Journal

It has always seemed to be the ultimate example of chutzpah in sports team owners, this idea of selling "seat licenses" to season ticket holders.

It is similar in practice to the airlines, who were no longer content to simply charge people for seats on their flights, so they started charging extra fees for the luggage they bring along.

With seat licenses, sports teams charge season ticket holders big, big dollars for the right to buy their season tickets. We don't know which sports executives dreamed up this idea, but we can imagine the reaction when they tried it out and their fans actually accepted it. "It worked!" they probably shouted as dollar signs appeared in their eye sockets and the cha-ching of cash registers rang through the air.

It's no surprise the Zygi Wilf, owner of the Vikings, is exploring the option of seat licenses to cover the cost of the Vikings' investment in the new stadium. He didn't get where he is today by spending his own money on things.

We have to applaud Gov. Mark Dayton for his letter this week scolding the Vikings for their plan to further soak their fans. He may be tilting at windmills, however. The seat licenses were approved in the stadium legislation that Dayton signed, and it's a bit late to go back on that deal. There's little he can really do except say, "For shame!"



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