Vikings Reveal Decision For Fans at Home Opener: Report

Dalvin Cook

Getty The Vikings made an official announcement regarding fans at the team's season opener.

The speculation is over. There will be no fans in attendance at U.S. Bank Stadium for the Vikings‘ season opener against the Packers on Sept. 13 — the first home opener against their border rival in team history.

The Vikings will also not allow fans inside against the Titans on Sept. 27.

“Based on our conversations and the current Minnesota Department of Health guidelines that specify an indoor venue capacity of 250, we have determined it is not the right time to welcome fans back to U.S. Bank Stadium,” the Vikings said in a team statement. “We will continue to work with the appropriate officials on our plans with the hope of bringing fans back in a safe manner later this season.”

Rochelle Olson of the Star Tribune reported that, as of Tuesday morning, more than 20 of the 32 NFL teams have announced plans for games without fans.

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 Majority of Season Ticket Holders Have Opted Out

Even before the announcement, season ticket holders had already forecasted the likelihood of their attendance at games as 60 percent had opted out of their tickets this season, per Olson.

The Vikings gave season-ticket holders the option to take a year off and either get refunds for the tickets or apply their payments to the 2021 season.

“We will deeply miss your energy and passion on game day that creates a special environment unique across sports,” a letter the team sent to season ticket holders said.


Prospects For Fans Later This Season

Last week, the Vikings said that they have been in talks with Gov. Tim Walz and the state health department to see if they can safely get fans into the enclosed stadium that hosted the 2018 Super Bowl and can seat more than 66,000.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), the public body that runs the four-year-old stadium for the state, last met on Aug. 20 but did not talk about the potential of allowing fans in the game as the organization is still tying up loose ends to ensuring the stadium is a safe playing environment.

Considering social distancing and public health guidelines, the max capacity of fans that could get in for any game this season is roughly 20 percent, Bagley said. That would allow a max capacity of 13,200 fans.

As of Tuesday, the gubernatorial order allows no more than 250 guests at indoor events, but Walz’s administration has been “in communication with teams and large venues, including the Vikings and U.S. Bank Stadium, to discuss what a safe season might look like.”

The Vikings are playing a scrimmage at the stadium “next Friday,” per coach Mike Zimmer in a press conference on Tuesday. Crowd noise will be pumped into the stadium and they’ll play a quarter on each sideline to get reps on both sides of the ball.

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Trevor Squire is a Heavy contributor covering the Minnesota Vikings and journalism graduate from the University of Minnesota — Twin Cities. Connect with him on Twitter @trevordsquire and join our Vikings community at Heavy on Vikings on Facebook.

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