Vikings’ home-field benefit may shrink due to coronavirus

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The Vikings opened coaching camp this week with eyes on a Super Bowl marketing campaign, however the NFL continues to be working to see how the season will play out due to the coronavirus, and groups try to determine if they are going to be allowed to have followers at video games.

That could be an enormous loss for the Vikings. Since the workforce moved into U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016, they’ve posted a 23-9 document at dwelling, a quantity matched solely by the Eagles and Saints for one of the best dwelling mark within the NFC.

The solely AFC golf equipment with a greater home-field mark in that stretch are the Patriots (26-6), Chiefs (24-8) and Ravens (24-8).

The Vikings haven’t been unhealthy on the street since 2016. Their 16-15-1 mark is 10th within the NFL and one of the best mark within the NFC North, with the Packers in second place at 14-18.

The Vikings have labored arduous to show U.S. Bank Stadium into probably the greatest home-field benefits in all of sports activities, with nice success thus far.

The membership is already working below the idea that even when followers are allowed, far fewer will likely be allowed in than the standard 66,00Zero who’ve attended each dwelling sport on the new stadium.

The workforce stated in a letter to season-ticket holders that they’re planning to have decreased seating in 2020, and can comply with the advice of Gov. Tim Walz.

“We will comply with NFL rules, as well as state and federal regulations, and will approve any plans with the Governor’s office,” the letter learn. “We can acknowledge at this time that if we are allowed to play in front of fans, games will be at a significantly reduced capacity and include a different in-stadium experience. We are planning around a number of scenarios now and will provide an update as soon as possible.”

The Packers, in the meantime, have given season-ticket holders a Friday deadline to determine if they’ll decide in or out of their season-ticket plan.

Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy informed the Green Bay Press Gazette that the membership will permit a most of 12,00Zero followers into Lambeau Field in 2020, and that quantity may very well be decreased relying on virus statistics.

A sold-out Lambeau Field can maintain over 80,000, so the Packers limiting sport attendance to 12,00Zero ought to give Vikings followers an thought of what number of seats the Vikings may promote — presumably fewer than 10,000 — if followers are allowed.

D-line adjustments

With Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph not on the roster, the Vikings defensive position was already going to look totally different. And now the membership has realized that Michael Pierce, their massive free agent defensive sort out who signed a three-year, $27 million deal within the offseason, is opting out of this season due to his household’s historical past with bronchial asthma, placing him in a high-risk group for contracting COVID-19.

The membership nonetheless will be capable of subject an ideal defensive position, however there’s little question it’s going to be tougher with out Pierce.

New co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson, who has coached the defensive position since 2014, stated the membership might want to discover different leaders in that group.

“I feel really good about the room,” Patterson stated. “[General Manager] Rick [Spielman] and the entrance workplace have executed an ideal job of getting me expertise. So we now have nice competitors in that room from high to backside.

“Obviously I’m enthusiastic about Ifeadi [Odenigbo] to proceed to enhance as a participant. He made nice strides final 12 months and he’s an amazing arduous employee. I believe he’s busting his tail proper now to proceed to enhance. I needed to discuss to him about not overtraining and never working too arduous. I believe the management a part of it simply comes pure. You can’t make anyone be a frontrunner. It simply comes pure.

“So whoever is in that room that’s going to be that guy to step forward and take that role, it will happen naturally. Just because somebody has played here for a number of years and been a good player for a number of years, you don’t want that person to do something that makes them uncomfortable. You want them to continue to be themselves and do what they have done to help them be successful. The worst thing they can do is change that. I think we’re going to be in good shape and I really like the makeup of the D-linemen.”

Twins discuss journey

Baseball bought an enormous scare this week when the Marlins had a number of gamers take a look at constructive for the coronavirus and MLB needed to postpone their video games by way of Sunday. Every professional sports activities league is doing its finest to maintain workforce members secure and wholesome.

Twins President Dave St. Peter defined how the membership is dealing with journey plans this season.

“We’ll travel with a few more players because the rosters have been expanded and that’s part of it,” St. Peter stated. “With that may come a few extra workers members, trainers and such. But for essentially the most half, we’re attempting to restrict our touring social gathering as a lot as we are able to, simply to assist and make sure the security of our membership and that is still clearly our high precedence. No main adjustments.

“One thing I would point out about travel is the regional nature of our travel. Thankfully where we play [in the AL Central], we have about as good of travel as any team in the game with just trips to Chicago and Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, along with Milwaukee. We feel very fortunate.”

The Marlins are the one membership that has had gamers take a look at constructive for the reason that begin of the common season thus far, however each membership will likely be on excessive alert all season.

Jottings

• Vikings co-defensive coordinator Adam Zimmer on his expectations for second-year cornerback Kris Boyd, who may very well be an enormous shock this season: “I like Kris a lot. I think he has a good mental attitude and he works really hard at it, you can give him one thing to do and he will work at it nonstop. He did that at the end of the year and he played great on special teams for us. I know he’s just going to hone in some little details of the position and keep improving his technique. But I like his mental makeup. I think he’s a competitor and he wants to be great. He’s going to do everything he can to be in the mix for us.”

• A variety of geniuses have been upset when the Twins didn’t need to pay Craig Kimbrel a ton of cash to be their nearer final season. Instead Kimbrel signed a three-year, $43 million cope with the Cubs. After a tricky first outing this season, permitting two runs whereas recording one out in opposition to the Reds on Monday night time, Kimbrel has allowed 17 runs over 21 innings in two seasons with Chicago.

 

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