Add the Minnesota Vikings to the growing list of teams that won’t be able to host fans this September.
The organization announced Tuesday its first two home games of the 2020 season will be played without fans because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vikings are scheduled to host Green Bay on Sunday, Sept. 13. The Week 1 matchup in Minnesota is a first between the longtime division rivals. On Sept. 27, the Titans will play at U.S. Bank Stadium for the first time.
“Over the past several months, we have collaborated with U.S. Bank Stadium partners, the NFL, the State of Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis to determine the best way to safely and responsibly host a limited number of fans at Vikings home games,” a Vikings statement read. “We have sought to balance the opportunity to provide fan access with the responsibility to adhere to public health and medical guidance in order to maintain the health and safety of fans, players, staff members and the broader community. Ultimately, public health is our top priority.
“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. As a result, the first two Vikings home games on Sunday, Sept. 13, and Sunday, Sept. 27, will be closed to the public. 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.”
A number of teams have made similar announcements regarding their initial home games. Some, however, still plan to host fans at a reduced capacity. It’s a disparity that doesn’t sit well with Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.
“Other than the comfort level of being in your own stadium, and we haven’t traveled yet in this pandemic so I don’t know what that’s totally going to be like,” Zimmer said last week. “So I guess that would be the only thing as far as playing in the field I think it’s just normal football now. I think there are some unfair things going on around it as far as some teams can have fans and some teams can’t. So I think there is a competitive disadvantage in some of those areas.”
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