NEW YORK -- A long-planned NFL experiment with on-field seating will begin Sunday with the Jacksonville at Minnesota game.
Four field seats for each game will be made available. The host teams, all of which volunteered to conduct the experiment, will choose which fans will
sit in chairs located 12 yards from the sideline and not near bench areas. The home teams also will choose exactly where the seats are located.
The other games in the experiment will be the New York Giants at Washington on Dec. 5, Houston at Chicago on Dec. 19 and New England at Miami on
Monday night, Dec. 20.
The league is not backing off from the experiment in the wake of the melee between players and fans at last Friday's NBA game in Auburn Hills, Mich.
The experiment was proposed more than a year ago and discussed at the owners' meetings last May. A memo to all 32 teams was sent in August seeking
volunteers to conduct the experiment.
"We will use these experiments to evaluate the polices to govern the concept, issues such as security, football operations, broadcast operations,
access to concession stands and rest rooms," said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.
Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing, said four corporate sponsors or franchise guests will sit on the visitor's side toward
one of the end zones Sunday. They will be partially enclosed in a padded box and will sit on recliners with small TVs and cup holders.
"We have the space at our facility, whereas a lot of other facilities don't," LaCroix said.
LaCroix also said the seats could benefit the Vikings if the NFL goes through with the plan.
"Certainly we're revenue challenged in the Metrodome, so that could be a potential benefit," he said.