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Vikings Happy in Mankato
Team begins its 47th year of training camp on campus.
Dan Linehan, Mankato Free Press, 7-27-2012
The Vikings settled into their 47th training camp in Mankato Thursday with some certainty that the team will be staying in Minnesota.
Now, the team will start talking about its future in Mankato.
Team spokesman Jeff Anderson said the Vikings are in the fourth and final year of its current contract with the city, and they’re working on extending it.
“ The (Vikings) organization is incredibly happy with the relationship (with Minnesota State University),” he said.
He said the new stadium deal will have little effect on training camp. The stadium will be built on the Metrodome site, which leaves the team still needing practice space.
The university receives a little more than $100,000 from the team for training camp, said Rick Straka, vice president for finance and administration for MSU. The university doesn’t make much money on that deal, but it recognizes the spillover benefits for area businesses and fans.
This is the last year Gage Hall can be used because MSU plans to demolish it next summer.
“ There will be some pros and cons both to the university and to the Vikings as to which sites will work best,” Straka said.
Webb Summers and Kathy Gehring, fans from Spirit Lake, Iowa, hope the team keeps training camp in Mankato. The 200-mile round trip isn’t exactly convenient, but it’s not as far as the Twin Cities.
Training camp gives them access they can’t get elsewhere.
By Thursday afternoon, Webb Summers had added more than 20 signed photographs for his collection.
He knows it’s possible the team could expand its practice fields at Winter Park, but he doesn’t see that happening.
“Oh, I like it here,” he said.
“People from Mankato treat (visitors) really nice.”
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