We just began the most dead time of the year for Vikings news with minicamp ending last week. The good news is that that lull is typically referred to, by me at least, as the post-minicamp and pre-Training Camp dead zone. That means that Training Camp is just around the bend (and also that I couldn’t think of a good way to introduce this story)! Proof of that came a few hours ago as the Vikings released the schedule for this year’s camp, and so let’s take a look at that so everyone can start to plan their “surgery”, “destination wedding” and “Craining Tamp” excuses for work this week.
This will be the 59th training camp in team history and the second in Eagan at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center or as us, cool kids call it, TCO. The first day of camp that will be open to the public is Friday, July 26th, which also happens to be the first day of full-team practices.
This year there will be a total of 16 practices open to the public. Beyond that, though, it sounds like the Vikings are pulling out all the stops to create a fun, family atmosphere as the press release that accompanied today’s schedule release stats that the fans will be able to find “new entertainment elements and traditions, including a climate-controlled Vikings house, a pre-practice Helmet Hike, and daily fan giveaways”.
That raises a lot of questions, though. Such as, “What is a NEW Tradition?”, “What is a Vikings House?”, “What is a Helmet Hike?” and “Why are you giving away fans? Which fans are you giving away? Do their families have any say in that?”
Like last year, you can reserve up to four digital tickets (for a max of two days) online or if it isn’t super busy you can just show up. General admission is free, but you can also reserve seating for a price that starts at $15. If you’re a season ticket holder you will also receive priority access to reserve those tickets (Click Here to learn more about that and camp in general) starting at 10 a.m. next Monday (the 24th). If you want to reserve general admission tickets and you don’t have season tickets you’ll have to wait until next Wednesday, the 26th.
Camp is going to be open to the public every day from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with the daily practices running from 2 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. (Sigh, I miss the good old days of two-a-days).
Here are some key dates beyond the daily schedule:
· Friday, July 26 – First full-team practice
· Monday, July 29 – First padded practice
· Saturday, Aug. 3 – Night practice in TCO Stadium (general admission seating only)
· Friday, Aug. 16 – Final open practice
Camp attendance is capped at 5,000 people so you’ll want to show up early for key dates or attempt to reserve tickets (especially for the night practice as that was HUGE last year).
Same as in 2018, you can purchase digital parking passes before going to camp and those cost $10 each and every day. Those can be purchased online while reserving your seats. If you wait to come to camp you’ll pay DOUBLE for a parking pass, $20.
Rideshare drop-off and pickup is going to be in the southwest corner of the Northland Ford Dealers Lot, which is near the southeast of TCO (at Vikings Parkway and Ames Crossing).
There’s a BIG change to autograph sessions this year as daily autographs essions will be available ONLY to fans aged 18 and under (and will take place around 4:30 each day after practice on the concourse, which is the same spot as 2018).
Vikings.com elaborates on that by saying:
The first 150 youth in each line will receive a wristband, allowing them the opportunity to watch practice before entering the same line prior to the end of practice. One adult will be allowed to enter the line with every child in order to ensure a parent or guardian is always present. Separate autograph opportunities with Vikings Legends will be available to fans of all ages and will take place frequently throughout camp. The Vikings will also give away autographs & team merchandise daily.
Fan Engagement Activities
The following is taken directly from Vikings.com:
· Helmet Hike – Each day, a select group of children will carry players’ helmets from the locker room door to the practice fields where they will receive a photo with that particular player.
· Vikings House/Vikings Arcade – Fans will have an opportunity to enter a climate-controlled space set to include video games and food and beverage items.
· Daily Fan Giveaways – The team intends to select fans to receive autographed items and team merchandise throughout camp.
Additional fan activation elements that are similar to years past will include a Kids Zone, as well as youth football and cheerleading camps. Full fan entertainment details will be available closer to camp.
Food will be availabe on site with the popular and delicious Vikings Table food truck returning! You aren’t allowed to bring your own food but you can bring your own bottle of water. Which is nice.
Similar to last year, all fans will go through security screening including a “Magnetometer” to detect for metal.
For Bags/Purses the policy is the same as U.S. Bank’s bag policy (which you can view HERE ).
Aerosol cans (i.e., Mace, pepper spray, hairspray, etc.)
Animals (except service animals to aid persons with disabilities)
Any devices that may interfere with and/or distract any sports or event participant
-Audio or audio/visual telecast or recording of the game or event
-Any technology-related service provided in the stadium
Confetti or glitter
Cowbells or other distracting noisemakers
Hard sided containers or coolers
Illegal drugs or substances, drug paraphernalia
Knives or weapons of any kind
Luggage of any kind
Obscene or indecent clothing
*Unless Medically Required
Pole mounted signs, banners, or flags
Projectiles (i.e., Frisbees, beach balls, etc.)
Staffs or selfie sticks
Use of wheeled footwear, skateboards, hover boards and Segway’s
Video cameras or mono/tripods*
*No spectator cameras with lenses over six inches long will be permitted
Coverage on the purpleTERRITORY Media Network
Like last year we will have at least TWO writers/content creators at camp every single day! We are hoping to also have our video studio open by then, and will be posting daily videos, streams, Q and A’s, articles, podcasts and shows during that time! You’ll want to follow all of us on social media by then, including Facebook and Twitter.
We will be following all of the restrictions regarding what we can and cannot share in terms of content but will really try to share as much of the access we get with you as we can! Our goal is to create an online training camp of sorts for those of you who cannot attend, and we will also be launching our new, improved, revamped and AMAZING message board/online community before then as well!
It’s going to be a great year and we’re super excited for camp to start, so we’ll either see you there or talk to you online about it when the time comes! Stay tuned to all the purpleTERRITORY media sites for all your Vikings news/reaction/fun!