The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that the Vikings have 3,500 tickets remaining for Sunday’s regular-season opener against Atlanta at the Metrodome. The team...

The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that the Vikings have 3,500 tickets remaining for Sunday’s regular-season opener against Atlanta at the Metrodome. The team has until noon Thursday, September 6, to sell those tickets or it will face its first blackout since the 1997 season. The Vikings voiced concerns about a blackout last week when they revealed they had 5,800 tickets left.

Steve LaCroix, the Vikings vice president of sales and marketing, expressed optimism about the situation. “We’re definitely moving in the right direction,” he said. “There has been a good response from our fan base since we went public with the issue at hand. But there is a lot of work to do in the next 48 hours.”

Sunday’s game is scheduled to be carried by Fox affiliate KMSP (Ch. 9) but if it’s not considered a sell out by Thursday it would be blacked out in the Twin Cities and secondary markets around the state (Alexandria, Austin, Mankato, Redwood Falls, Rochester and Mason City, Iowa).

The NFL requires the Vikings to sell 62,000 tickets to consider a Metrodome game sold out. The Vikings? last blackout came Dec. 21, 1997, when 54,107 tickets were sold for the season finale against Indianapolis. Since then, the Vikings have sold out 96 consecutive home games, including those in the preseason.