Vikings Won’t Have Popular Weekend Night Practice at Training Camp

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Jul 30, 2021; Eagan, MN, United States; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. (84) celebrates with running back Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Saturday night practice may have been a hit with Minnesota Vikings fans, but the session has been removed from the team’s docket, at least for this summer.

Instead, a night practice will occur on a weeknight — Monday, August 8th.

Training camp formally begins on July 24th when rookies report to TCO Performance Center in Eagan. The rest of the players join two days later on July 26th. Camp opens to the public on July 30th and will host 14 practices open to fans.

The weekend night practice was popular because of scheduling for families, especially out-of-towners. Fans outside of the Eagan could venture to Twin Cities for a weekend and make the Saturday night scrimmage a focal point of the trip. Now, folks must adjust to a Monday night practice occurring on August 8th or attend a different session.

Jun 8, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Last year, the Saturday night practice was marred by controversy, as the quarterback room was rocked by the coronavirus. All passers sans Jake Browning, who was vaccinated, quarantined accordingly, so fans in attendance could not get a glimpse of Kirk Cousins and Kellen Mond. Browning played decent that evening, even persuading some to endorse his candidacy as the Vikings QB2.

Browning was released by the Vikings one month later, and Sean Mannion became the team’s QB2 in 2021.

Training camp in July marks the 62nd in franchise history for Minnesota. Until 2018, camp took place at Minnesota State University in Mankato. However, when U.S. Bank Stadium was erected in 2016, a fancy new practice facility was on the agenda and ultimately opened two years later. The Vikings headquarters in Eagan features a more modern atmosphere, an on-site hotel, and a Vikings museum.

Non-padded practices on August 2nd, 7th, 12th, and 16th are free to the public. Eight padded practices on August 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 10th, 11th, 17th, and 18th will cost $5 per adult and are free for children 17 and younger. The July 30th and August 8th events are $10 for adults, and $5 for children 17 and younger, while kids under three feet tall get in free.

The takeaway? If you had plans to attend a nighttime session this summer, it will happen on a weeknight, not a weekend.

Oddsmakers forecast the Vikings to win 8.5 games in 2022.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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