On the fifth floor of a historic building across the street from the construction site, Vikings season ticket holders will soon be taken on a tour of what their new stadium experience could be like…if they’re willing to pay up for a premium seat.
Starting Wednesday, prospective ticket buyers may begin walking through the team’s preview center, a 7800 square foot pressure sales tactic composed of high-def video monitors, giant murals and mood-enhancing purple lighting.
Designed by the sales agency Van Wagner Group, the preview center features:
Two mock suites, simulating the 98 suites that will be available at the new stadium.
A 24-seat mockup of the new stadium’s 8000-strong club seat area.
A sci-fi virtual reality simulation where in folks are taken down a 90-foot-long corridor lined with 8 84-inch high def monitors and pummeled in the eyes with a slickly produced two minute video showing what it’s like to go out of the tunnel with the team on game day.
The simulation includes Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” cause that’s our song now I guess, plus footage of tight end Kyle Rudolph banging his head against the screen. Because that’s what Kyle Rudolph does before a game. He bangs his head on stuff.
The video ends with the fans being deposited inside a Matrix-like simulation of the proposed field level Fire and Ice Club, which despite the name, is not a Game of Thrones-themed strip joint.
Oh, and the most important part: at the end of your tour, touch screens “enabling premium-seat buyers to walk themselves through offerings for Stadium Builders Licenses and club seats.”
Somewhat optimistically, the Vikings VP of team and revenue services Jason Gonella drew comparisons between the preview center and an amusement park ride.
“The field-level concept is such a unique dynamic to the marketplace that we thought it was important to build that out,” Gonella told Sports Business Journal. “As the client walks in, the video is triggered by a motion detector and then the show starts. It’s sort of [the same] preamble to a Disney ride.”
But instead of a ride, there’s a mockup of some insanely-priced seating and a video of Kyle Rudolph banging his head.
And where did the money come from to build all this? Most came out of the original stadium budget with the team paying for all overruns. Final cost is reported to have been in “the low seven figures.”
Note that this preview center only covers the field level club seat experience. I guess the simulation for the regular Joe seats will be coming along later.
Complete with animatronic puking drunks? Let’s hope.