Vikings announce first 2 home games to be closed to public

The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team’s first two home games will be closed to the public.

In a statement, the team said it had collaborated with U.S. Bank Stadium partners, the NFL, state officials and Minneapolis city officials to try to determine "the best way to safely and responsibly host a limited number of fans at Vikings home games."

The team went on to state it tried 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 state health leaders’ recommendations that specify an indoor capacity of 250, the team "determined it is not the right time to welcome fans back to U.S. Bank Stadium."

As a result, the first two 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," the team stated.

Some fans were disappointed, but not surprised. Others disagreed with the decision.

"It’s really hard not to be back there with all the excitement and the cheering and the fan base," said Susan Jungk from St. Paul.

"If fans want to go, they should be able to go. If they have concerns, then they should stay home," said Ken Sperle from West St. Paul.

A spokesperson for the Vikings said they plan to pump crowd noise into the stadium and take other measures to create a game-day atmosphere.

Vikings announced 12 presumptive positive COVID-19 cases from New Jersey lab; cases could be false