The Vikings are backpedaling on how many high school football games they will have this fall at Twin Cities Orthopedic Stadium in Eagan.
One regular-season game will be played at TCO Stadium, along with a multiple-team scrimmage on Aug. 25, and there's a possibility of two state tournament quarterfinal dates, said Bob Madison, a Minnesota State High School League associate director.
His disclosure Thursday reflects much less football than Vikings officials envisioned in an April 2017 presentation to the league.
Vikings executive Lester Bagley, in a text Thursday, wrote, "We want to put a viable program together this year, along with the MSHSL, that we can build on in the future."
The MSHSL remains excited to partner with the Vikings. "They're going to start with football, see how things go there and what they learn but they'd love to have soccer and lacrosse as well, down the road," Madison said.
DAVID La VAQUE
Vikings sign four
The Vikings signed four of the eight players they drafted last week: kicker Daniel Carlson (fifth round, Auburn), guard Colby Gossett (sixth, Appalachian State), defensive end Ade Aruna (sixth, Tulane) and linebacker Devante Downs (seventh, California). All rookie contracts featured slotted salaries based on draft position.
Denmark hockey hub
The IIHF World Championships will start Friday in Denmark, and a handful of Wild players and Minnesotans will participate.
Wild winger Mikael Granlund will captain Team Finland, while winger Nino Niederreiter will skate for Switzerland and prospect Kirill Kaprizov for Russia.
Team USA has four Minnesotans: Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen (St. Paul, St. Cloud State), Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk (Hermantown, Minnesota Duluth), Islanders winger Anders Lee (Edina, Notre Dame) and Canadiens goalie Charlie Lindgren (Lakeville, St. Cloud State). The tournament runs until May 20 in Copenhagen and Herning.
Allianz Field update
Allianz Field, Minnesota United's 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in the Midway area of St. Paul, is just past 50 percent complete, project manager Greg Huber said Thursday. Feb. 22 is still the completion date and everything is on track and on budget to meet that date, he said.
Bonspiel in Blaine
Some of the top curlers in North America, including world and Olympic champion Kevin Martin of Canada, will compete in a charity bonspiel this weekend at Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine.
Three members of the 2018 U.S. Olympic women's team — Nina Roth, Becca Hamilton and Eagan native Tabitha Peterson — also are part of the field for Lupus Spiel USA, a pro-am event that benefits lupus research. Competition runs from noon-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.
• The Gophers softball team will try to win the Big Ten regular-season title for the second year in a row when it plays host to Penn State this weekend to end conference play. The series opener will be 6 p.m. Friday. Minnesota (34-14, 15-3 Big Ten) has won 14 in a row and is one game behind Michigan (41-9, 16-2).
• Odell Wilson IV of Minneapolis North signed a letter of intent to play basketball at North Dakota State. The 6-6 center helped the Polars to state championships in 2016 and '17.
• Gophers senior Caroline Ryba was named to the All-Big Ten women's tennis team for the third time in her career.