MLS Expansion: Wilf Sees Revenue With MLS Team

MLS Expansion: Wilf Sees Revenue With MLS Team

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 1, 2011
  • Features, MLS Expansion, MLS Minnesota

Let’s go ahead and file this under the “duh” section. Ziggy Wilf, the owner of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings is hoping his new stadium for the Vikes will have a “moveable” roof on it. Reason being, he wants a MLS club.

Wilf came to the realization that getting a MLS club would add additional revenue to his pockets and make a new stadium for Minneapolis worthwhile.

Wilf has pledged to pay $407 million of the cost of a proposed $1.1 billion stadium complex in Arden Hills, will increase his contribution to slightly more than $420 million.

Although talks this week about a roof for the proposed stadium moved from retractable to fixed to reduce the cost, the Vikings would prefer a moving roof because Wilf wants to get a Major League Soccer franchise. None of the 18 MLS teams plays in a fixed-roof stadium.

Let’s do a little math here. NFL teams play what 10 home games a year for preseason and regular season? If they are lucky they get two more in the playoffs (that is if the team is good enough to host the playoff games). So, 12 games a year max? Yeah, MLS will bring at least a minimum of 17 home games, plus international friendlies for the club, plus potential CCL games (which could be upwards of four a year depending on how the team got into the CCL), plus potential USMNT games. And the list keeps going on. That’s revenue, maybe not as much as a NFL game brings in but potentially plenty to help Wilf’s pockets.

Obviously Minnesota isn’t too high on the league’s radar just yet but if someone like Wilf comes in with his deep pockets and ponies up the cash for an expansion team with a shiny new stadium plan like this involved, I bet the league will have trouble saying no.

Is having another team play in an oversized NFL stadium good? No, but if Wilf and his people are creative about it and serious enough about it they can work out a plan to do what Vancouver is doing with BC Place, have it converted down a bit for soccer games. Make seem more attractive in that sense. Naturally we don’t want to see leads and loads of empty seats, even if say 30,000 were to show up regularly for a game in Minnesota.