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Training camp fans appreciate Vikings' return
Even Vikings' abbreviated stay is appreciated by training camp fans.
An editorial in The Free Press, Mankato, MN [7/29/2011]
For its 46th consecutive year, the Minnesota Vikings training camp will be held in Mankato starting Sunday.
This is more than just a spotlight for our community and for Minnesota State Mankato, where the players will reside and train. When the camp is at its usual 2 1⁄2 weeks, the economic impact is approximately $5 million, according to the Greater Mankato Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The drama was played out to the last minute when a July 18 deadline to make a decision on training camp passed while negotiations continued between NFL owners and players. Vikings President Mark Wilf said going past the deadline allowed them to “prolong our decision as long as possible” to continue the tradition of practicing in front of Viking fans in Mankato.
Unfortunately, we will have a somewhat abbreviated camp, starting actual practice on Monday. The last practice is on Aug. 11 to accommodate the start of classes at Minnesota State Mankato. But even the brief stay is beneficial to the area’s businesses that count on the camp to lure more customers to hotels, restaurants and bars.
This is the last year of the signed agreement to hold training camp in Mankato. Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport has said he would like to continue that tradition, which is the second-longest such stretch at one location.
Of course, a lot of this drama will continue as speculation swirls around the possible departure of the Vikings if a deal with the state to build a new stadium is not made.
But situations change and we will have to be patient as this drama plays out. Meanwhile, let’s go out and enjoy our Vikings and thank them for again coming to our community. Let’s hope we see them again next year.
For the complete Free Press editorial, read Friday's print edition, or see the e-edition at http://mankatofreepress.mn.newsmemory.com/.