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Twitter posts about opening Vikings stadium to homeless spins out of control

MINNEAPOLIS - What began on Twitter as a joke Sunday afternoon, quickly spiraled into false news reports that U.S. Bank Stadium would open its doors to the homeless during a night of subzero temperatures in the Twin Cities.

Shortly after the Vikings’ loss to the Indianapolis Colts, Minneapolis gym owner David Dellanave tweeted that the team was planning to turn the stadium into a temporary homeless shelter.

Although it wasn’t true, the tweet was soon shared thousands of times, including by some Twin Cities media professionals. At least two national news outlets, CBS Sports and Yahoo Sports, reported the rumor as fact, citing Dellanave’s tweet as their source. Both reports were later deleted.

Several local reporters debunked the hoax when they questioned the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority about it.

The story appears to have originated with local marketer Jake Nyberg, who later said he tweeted the rumor to his 4,700 followers in an attempt to shame the Vikings and the MSFA into opening the stadium to the homeless for real.

Dellanave, whom Nyberg identified as a friend, then retweeted the rumor to his 14,800 followers. Neither of the men noted that it was a joke.

Nyberg and Dellanave later deleted their false tweets and apologized for misleading people, saying their goal was only to draw attention to the dangers of homelessness in frigid weather and to suggest the stadium as a possible solution. Nyberg also deactivated his Twitter account.

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority says nobody sought shelter at the stadium.