It’s Time to Let Fans Back in to Minnesota Stadiums.
10,000 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium for Jayhawks vs Oklahoma State. 17,000 at Texas Memorial Stadium to see their Longhorns get upset by TCU. How about 25,000 (possibly more) at Sanford Stadium to watch their Georgia Bulldogs destroy the Auburn Tigers? On Saturday, all of these college football fans got to go out, watch their team play, and forget about 2020 for a little bit of fun.
Are you yelling at me through your phone, for listing all of the stupid southern states who haven’t taken “The Invisible Enemy” seriously from the beginning? Save it. Kansas is in the Midwest. So is Indiana, where Notre Dame has invited crowds of 15,000 to their on-campus games. Maybe you jumped across our southern border, to Jack Trice Stadium tonight, for Iowa State vs Oklahoma, where they had an announced 15,000 fans to watch them upset Oklahoma in Ames, for the first time since 1960?
.@OU_Football takes a 17-13 lead over @CycloneFB into halftime of their game at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday. #cyclonenationhttps://t.co/zBp1QNcUUG pic.twitter.com/IFmhQLtJJm— Brian Powers (@bpowersphoto) October 4, 2020
13K Fans for Vikings/Texans
The Vikings have played three games so far this season, two at US Bank Stadium in front of purple seats and one on the road in Indianapolis, for a human crowd of 2,500. On Sunday, that will change when the Vikings land in the state of Texas to play against the Houston Texans. The crowd is to be limited at 13,300 (less than 20%). 13K will feel completely different than what this team experienced vs the Colts.
Crowds during coronavirus isn’t new to this weekend. Nah, they’ve had fans in stands for football games at both the NFL and NCAA levels all over the country, all season long. It’s time we tell Governor Tim Walz that the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Gophers need their football fans back too.
Minnesota COVID #’s
Coronavirus numbers are better in Minnesota, than they are in most of the country. The new “rise in cases” that we’ve heard about for the last week, is mostly a rise in testing (as expected) and nothing we need to lock ourselves in our socially distant closets for.
The testing increase in MN is real and notable. In late April, MN began a sustained rise in testing from an average of about 1,500 per day to nearly 15,000/day by July 4. But then growth slowed a ton, and stayed slow for months.— David Montgomery (@dhmontgomery) October 1, 2020
The last few weeks have finally seen more growth: pic.twitter.com/IIyjVjANEM
Hospitalizations are up slightly but ebbs and flows are to be expected and even those rates look to be on the decline the last couple days. COVID is caused by a living virus that isn’t going to suddenly stop infecting people, even after we have a vaccine. These are just facts, people. Luckily, it isn’t as deadly as we once worried. Just as long as you can keep it out of nursing homes, where 71% of COVID deaths in Minnesota are attributed (1,482 of 2,073), your recovery rate is through the roof.
In Conclusion, Let’s Just Use Common Sense
So, if you live in a nursing home, don’t buy a ticket to a Vikings or Gopher game. If you are healthy (the younger the better) and willing to take “the risk” of attending a game at US or TCF Bank Stadiums, then both the Vikings and the University of Minnesota should be able to sell you a ticket.
We aren’t asking for anything unprecedented or untested. We’re just asking for some common sense. Other stadiums across the country are putting fans in their stands and then living to talk about it. There’s absolutely no reason why Minnesota football fans shouldn’t be able to do the same.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan