MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Officials with the Vikings say they are coming out with an announcement next week on whether fans will be allowed at games for the upcoming football season, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A spokesperson for Governor Walz’s office says the administration is in “communication” with teams on what a safe season might look like.
The Vikings and U.S. Bank management had a virtual meeting Thursday where they discussed how the facility is getting ready for the 2020-21 NFL season. The first game is less than a month away. To start the season the Vikings will play the Packers in Minneapolis on September 13.
In that meeting, John Drum, the General Manager at U.S. Bank Stadium said employees are slowly returning to the facility to get it ready for games. He said the preparations and planning are flexible enough to change if local, national, or NFL guidelines change. As of now, fans would not be allowed at U.S. Bank Stadium for the start of the season.
“Currently U.S. Bank is classified as an indoor entertainment venue. The limitation on that is an event of 250 people maximum. So that doesn’t provide much opportunity to host events at this time,” Drum said.
A spokesperson for Governor Walz’s office sent out this statement in relation to possibly having fans at Vikings games this season: “The Administration is communication with teams and large venues, including the Vikings and U.S. Bank Stadium, to discuss what a safe season might look like.”
As for other preparations, Drum says they will be using new technology to make sure the field is safe for players this season.
“There is a new piece of technology that was purchased that uses [ultraviolet] light to basically sterilize the playing field. That will happen six hours before the use of the field by any of the players,” Drum said.
The device is similar to a field grooming machine that is towed across the field. The machine uses germicidal UV light to sanitize. This technology is similar to what’s used in some hospitals and laboratories.
Drum says they will be using similar technology to sanitize television production equipment. He says there will also be a big focus on keeping locker rooms clean and sanitized.
Another change fans will notice once games are televised are more signage for sponsorships. On Thursday, U.S. Bank management approved adding signage around the stadium that include the names of Vikings sponsors and partnerships.