When the Seattle Seahawks come to town on September 26th for the Vikings' home opener, it will have been 21 months since fans were allowed inside U.S. Bank Stadium for a regular season game. I think it's safe to say that that lengthy time away will make a loud home crowd even more electric for that game and the seven others in Minneapolis this fall.
The Vikings have missed playing in front of their fans and the advantage that they get from the noise level at home, and the fans have missed being part of that atmosphere and cheering on their favorite team in person.
That's reflected in the news the Vikings announced on Monday: they've seen a season ticket renewal rate of 99 percent this offseason.
"This offseason we saw a 99 percent renewal of season tickets, which is a testament to the excitement fans have to return to U.S. Bank Stadium," said VP of Communications Jeff Anderson. "Given that fans were not able to attend home games last season, all season ticket prices remained flat from the prices set in 2020. Fans who are interested in joining the team’s waitlist can sign up at vikings.com/tickets."
The Vikings also announced that they "intend to make all remaining single-game tickets (less than 6,000 per game) available in mid-July."
With vaccination rates increasing across the country and restrictions loosening, it seems as though most NFL teams, if not all of them, will be able to have their stadiums at full capacity this fall. There's no word on whether or not fans will be required to show proof of vaccination for entry or if masks will be required for non-vaccinated fans.
As for the Vikings themselves, they'll need 85 percent of their players (77 out of 90) to have been vaccinated in order to have a normal training camp without mask requirements or other COVID-19 protocols.
Fans are expected to be able to attend training camp this year at TCO Performance Center, and the Vikings have two of their three preseason games at home as well. But the true welcome-back moment will be when the team runs out of the tunnel in Week 3 before a critical game against the Seahawks.
I can't wait to see what that atmosphere will be like.
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