How much do the Vikings mean to Vikings fans? $530.65 per person

Here's something interesting that means absolutely nothing. A couple of economists tried to figure out exactly how much the joy of being a Vikings fan is worth to a Vikings fan, and put specific dollar figure on it. That number ended up being $530.65.

What does this measure, exactly? Here's what the Wall Street Journal said:

It's an abstract figure meant to catch everything from the joy of donning blond braids and Vikings horns to the feeling of pride that even nonfans get from living in a "major league" city. In the broadest sense, Mr. Crooker says, "welfare value" represents the worth Minnesotans place on having the Vikings in Minnesota.

In that case $530.65 seems a little low to me. I could be wrong, but if someone said to me (and I picture that person as Robert Redford from "Indecent Proposal"), "How much money would I have to give you to stop being a Chargers fan?", I think my answer would be higher than $530.65.

Of course, that also depends on when you ask me. If it's right after Philip Rivers(notes) throws a touchdown pass to Antonio Gates(notes), it's probably pretty high. If it's right as Nate Kaeding(notes) takes the field for his next field-goal attempt, it might be right around $0.19.

So how did the economists arrive at such a figure?

In the 2002 off-season (to minimize in-season emotions), Messrs. Fenn and Crooker mailed 1,400 surveys to households across Minnesota, capturing both fans and nonfans.

The study's figures were based on the mail surveys, which had 30 questions ranging from demographic information to how much time the person discussed the Vikings at home and at work. But the so-called welfare value was generated from a single yes or no question: Would you be willing to pay $X out of your own household budget for the next year to make a new stadium possible? There was one price on each survey (it ranged from $5 to $100).

Well, these people are economists and I'm not, so if they say their numbers are right, I guess they're right. I don't care enough to force myself to get a degree in economics so I can argue with them.

What about you? If you had to put a dollar value on your fandom and team pride, what would it be?

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