After 52 years, the Minnesota Vikings have ended their yearly tradition of holding training camp in Mankato, Minnesota.
Today marks the end of an era for the Minnesota Vikings. 2017 has been officially declared as the final season Vikings will hold training camp on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus.
The team announced Tuesday that the TCO Performance Center in Eagan, MN will begin hosting training camp in 2018. Barring any unforeseen delay in construction, the facility will open in March 2018. The new facility will feature five practice fields, including one indoor field. It will also include a 6,500-seat stadium that will be used for training camp. Blakeslee Stadium in Mankato (built in 1962) currently holds 7,500.
From the team website:
“Over the past 52 years we have formed incredible relationships with Minnesota State University, Mankato, the City of Mankato, and the entire community, and those partnerships made this decision difficult,” said Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren. “With our increased space and amenities, the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center will give our players, coaches and staff the best opportunity to succeed, and we feel hosting training camp at our new home is the proper move for the organization and Vikings fans. We strongly believe it is important to make this announcement now so we can truly celebrate 52 years with our Mankato partners this summer.”
Warren believes the team will benefit from moving training camp to the Twin Cities Orthopedics Center because of logistics. For one, the team moves the entire weight room to Mankato for training camp each year. Also, the Vikings currently have employees in five different areas of the Mankato campus. Moving them all under one roof will make things easier for the staff. It will also be easier for fans that live in the Twin Cities to attend camp in Eagan.
The Vikings have held training camp in Mankato since 1966. To celebrate the 52-year relationship, the organization has planned additional items for this year’s training camp, including:
- The Vikings Lasting Legacy scholarship — Annual scholarship given to one student in need of financial assistance from Blue Earth County.
- Commemorative poster — Free to every fan that attends training camp.
- Commemorative Training Camp “playbook” — Fans will receive a free copy as they enter camp.
- Recognition Ceremony, Saturday, August 5th — Vikings legends recognized at Blakeslee Stadium.
- Community “Thank You” Event — Monday, August 7th
The final Mankato training camp opens next Monday, July 24th. Here are the dates and practice schedules.