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More than a Fantasy: Vikings are Virtual Geniuses

6 May, 2015

By: Mary Helen Sprecher
Special Suite for Fantasy Football Fans Harnesses Technology, Enthusiasm

When it comes to fantasy sports, event owners have two choices: ignore them or figure out how to profit from them.

The Minnesota Vikings took Option B. According to an article in the Star Tribune, the Vikes will kick off next season with a new seating section, designed to appeal to fantasy football fans.

Club Purple, according to reports, cost $1 billion and features sofas and high-definition televisions so that fans can keep up with sports on multiple platforms during the football game.

Jason Gonella of Van Wagner Team & Venue Services, which is helping the Vikings sell tickets, says, "We're thinking Club Purple will be the most technologically advanced space in the stadium. You might have [an electronic] ticker that runs around the space that would have fantasy statistics."

Vikings officials are pleased with how well the premium seats and suites have sold, saying that sales have been above expectations. The general public will have the opportunity to buy tickets for the premium seats and suites starting April 30, the day of the NFL Draft. The stadium's construction recently hit its half-way point. The Vikings will play the 2015 season at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium before moving into their new digs in time for the 2016 season.

Fantasy football has been everything from a pastime to an obsession – and it’s been responsible for some serious amounts of lost productivity at work. In fact, according to an article in Forbes Magazine, it is responsible for costing employers $134 billion a season.

Forbes noted that the Chicago-based firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which helps with company restructuring, downsizing and executive departures, attempted to do the math on how much time it costs to draft a team and keep up with individual stats:

According to the study by Challenger, an estimated 18.3 million employees played fantasy football on the job for two hours each week. The firm then multiplied that by the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s $24.45 hourly wage average. The result: $895 million lost each week.

Even hypothetically: Yikes.

In addition, noted USA TODAY Sports, fantasy football has followed in the steps of fantasy baseball by going mobile with designated fantasy sports apps that allow people to change their lineups anytime during the day.

And you thought Facebook was a time-sucker.

Whether the new in-stadium suite affects this economic dynamic is anyone’s guess. But it does make it perfectly acceptable for spectators to ride their mobile devices to their heart’s content without this happening.

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