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Vikings shelve idea of having fans in U.S. Bank Stadium for remainder of 2020 season

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Fans cheer in U.S. Bank Stadium during the second half of an NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

The Vikings opened the season hoping it would become safe to allow fans into U.S. Bank Stadium for home games in 2020. But with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to surge, the team announced Wednesday that it will “no longer pursue hosting more than 250 fans” for its remaining four home games.

The Vikings have allowed 250 staff members and their family members into the past three games at U.S. Bank Stadium. An ordinance in Minnesota has limited indoor gatherings to 250 during the pandemic, but the Vikings had been working on plans that would have put fans into pods of 250 to create social distancing.

Here’s the Vikings’ statement:

After much consideration and discussion with U.S. Bank Stadium partners, the State of Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis, we will no longer pursue hosting more than 250 fans for the remaining 2020 Vikings regular season home games.

While we have worked hard to develop a safe and responsible plan to bring back a limited number of fans, our decisions have been based on medical guidance with public health as the top priority. We take seriously Minnesota’s rising COVID infection rates and increasing hospitalizations and believe closing the final four home games to fans is the right decision to help protect our community.

Players, coaches and staff have missed the energy and passion Vikings fans bring on game day and appreciate the unwavering remote support as we enter the second half of the 2020 season. We look forward to welcoming fans back next season and recreating the special environment we all enjoy at U.S. Bank Stadium. To be in a position to do that, we strongly encourage everyone in Minnesota to take the necessary precautions to minimize the spread of this virus by wearing face coverings, practicing proper social distancing and limiting social gatherings.