Vikings drop plans to seek larger crowds as virus spirals

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have given up on trying to host larger crowds and will no longer seek permission to sell tickets to fans for their remaining home games.

The Vikings said in a statement Wednesday that players, coaches and staff miss the energy and passion that fans bring on game day. But the team says Minnesota’s rising infection and hospitalization rates mean they’re giving up on trying to increase crowds beyond the 250-person limit right now of family and friends of players and staff.

The Minnesota Department of Health on Wednesday reported a record 56 new deaths from COVID-19, a more than 55% jump from the state’s previous record of 36 deaths, reported on Friday.