Vikings fans brave cold to watch big victory

The Vikings had their lowest home attendance of 2014 at Sunday’s game.

Sam Kraemer

Sunday’s game at TCF Bank Stadium finally had the feel of true Minnesota weather for the Vikings.

With an official game-time temperature of 12 degrees Fahrenheit, Sunday tied for the seventh-coldest home game in Vikings history.

But that didn’t stop fans from attending the game Sunday, with an announced crowd of 52,016 coming out to the Bank. That’s just slightly below the average attendance of nearly 52,232 fans for home games this season.

The Vikings installed field-warming technology for cold-weather games, but every other home game has had a game-time temperature of at least 49 degrees.

On Sunday, fans didn’t enjoy the same warmth that the players did.

Hundreds of fans left the game at halftime, including Steve and Doug Voerding, who blamed the weather for their early departure.

“The wind is pretty nippy against the face. And frankly, my toes are getting pretty cold,” Steve Voerding said.

The 30-year-old also said he didn’t feel as bad leaving the game because the Vikings had a 28-6 halftime lead, and he was recording the game at home.

Doug Voerding, 68, said he planned for the cold, but his layers didn’t provide him enough warmth.

“I’ve got four pairs of socks on, and my feet are still cold,” he said.

Jim Redmond, 48, also left early with his son because they didn’t anticipate the weather.

“We didn’t expect to leave early, but his feet got cold,” Redmond said. “We’re just going to go listen to the game in the car.”

While the frigid temperatures were too much for some fans, they didn’t seem to bother the Vikings on the field. Minnesota scored two touchdowns off punt-block returns on its way to a 31-13 rout of the Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers were playing in the second-coldest game in the franchise’s 20-year history.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer thanked the fans after the game for braving the weather.

“I want to tell the fans I appreciate them being here, being out in the cold,” Zimmer said in his postgame press conference. “It means a lot to us when they come out and support us like they did.”