The Minnesota Vikings will play at least their first two home games of the 2020 regular season without fans in attendance.
"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. 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."
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer suggested to reporters last week that his team was likely not going to have fans in the stands and lamented the lack of a uniform policy across the league:
"It's going to be very hard because some stadiums they're allowing people in and it looks like we're not going to have any fans in there early, which really stinks because we have unbelievable fans, and they make that place rocking every Sunday. But the best way to have homefield advantage is to play really good. Execute, make tackles, don't make mistakes, don't commit penalties, turnovers, all those things."
The NFL has allowed each team to determine whether to allow fans in stadiums this season.
Just over two weeks from the start of the regular season Sept. 10, six teams have confirmed they will allow fans to attend games at a reduced capacity.
The Vikings are among 17 teams that have announced no fan attendance for at least one home game.
After playing two of their first three games at home, the Vikings will go on the road for two straight games. Their third game at U.S. Bank Stadium is scheduled for Oct. 18 against the Atlanta Falcons.