The Minnesota Vikings have confirmed that its first two home games at U.S. Bank Stadium will be closed to the public due to COVID-19.
The games against the Packers on Sept. 13 and Sept. 27 will have no fans in attendance, which follows discussions with the NFL, stadium partners, the State of Minnesota, and the City of Minneapolis.
The team said it had discussed a way of hosting a "limited number of fans" at home games, but "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," the Vikings announced Tuesday.
"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."
The Vikings will hold Friday's training camp practice at the stadium so that players can get their "game-day routines in place."
With no preseason games happening this year, the game against the Packers will be the first competitive play the Vikings have experienced since losing to the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs last season.
"Some stadiums, they're allowing people in, and it looks like we're not going to have any fans there early, which really stinks because we have such unbelievable fans, and they make that place rocking every Sunday," head coach Mike Zimmer said this week.
"But the best way to have home-field advantage is to play really good – execute, make tackles, don't make mistakes, don't commit penalties, turnovers, all those things. That's why we're going to have to be so disciplined in the way we approach these things, and to go out and just be a better team than the other team that we're playing."
Minnesota plays two home games in September and one in October, with the final five games in Minneapolis scheduled for November and December. Home games:
- Sept. 13: Packers
- Sept. 27: Titans
- Oct. 18: Falcons
- Nov. 8: Lions
- Nov. 22: Cowboys
- Nov. 29: Panthers
- Dec. 6: Jaguars
- Dec. 20: Bears