MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Sunday marks the Minnesota Vikings’ first home opener in two years, with people in the stands. Last year, seats were empty and downtown Minneapolis was quiet. But as Vikings take on the Seattle Seahawks at U.S. Bank Stadium, businesses are expecting a full house.
In preparation for Sunday’s game, Crooked Pint Ale House in Minneapolis will be fully staffed and visitors can expect an event menu.READ MORE: St. Paul Registered Sex Offender Indicted for Child Pornography
“I think that’s why all of us want to do this, we enjoy interacting with the patrons,” said Sarah Hopkins, general manager for Crooked Pint. “Pre-COVID, it’s been pretty wild. We’re expecting it’ll be just the same because people are sick of staying at home. They want to get out and they want to see their favorite teams play.”
Jesse Manriquez traveled from California to cheer on the Vikings. Almost every year, Manriquez travels to Vikings home openers and he never misses the chance to stop at Crooked Pint.
“We love coming here for their Juicy Lucy’s, we don’t have that in California,” said Manriquez.
Just half a mile away, Maxwell’s American Pub is also anticipating a full house.
“60,000 plus people right down the street, definitely should be a boost to us and our staff should be ready,” said Michael Rosenstiel, general manager for the pub.READ MORE: Education Minnesota Urges Schools To Vaccine School-Aged Children
Local bars and restaurants are hoping the return of fans will help them rebound from the pandemic, but they say staffing shortage remains an issue.
“Trying to find people to hire is challenging, also finding people to stay,” explained Hopkins.
While doubling shifts will solve part of the issue at Crooked Pint, the pressure is on as fans from both sides are already here.
“I believe they’re going to win,” said Manriquez, a Vikings fan.
“It’ll be a good game. I’m confident we’ll pull out a victory maybe by like one missed kick,” joked Seahawks fan Bill Clem.
Gates open at 10 a.m. for the pregame show at Commons Park right next to U.S. Bank Stadium.MORE NEWS: ‘It Was Very Much A Shock To Us': Allina Phillips Eye Institute To Operate In Different Location In 2022
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