The Minnesota Vikings have released an official statement regarding training camp in Mankato:
The Minnesota Vikings announced today the team will report to Minnesota State University, Mankato, on Sunday, July 31, for the 2011 Verizon Vikings Training Camp. With NFL owners and players reaching a labor agreement, the team informed officials from the community and the University that the Vikings will return to Mankato for the 46th consecutive year – the second-longest current training camp stretch in the NFL.
“We wanted to prolong our decision as long as possible in an effort to maintain our training camp tradition of practicing in front of Vikings fans in Mankato” said Vikings Owner and President Mark Wilf. “The Vikings appreciate the patience and flexibility shown by Minnesota State University and the Mankato community in making this work, and we look forward to returning to our training camp home in August.”
According to the Greater Mankato Convention & Visitors Bureau, approximately 60,000 fans from 28 states, Canada, England and over 100 different Minnesota cities attended last year’s training camp. The annual event has an estimated $5 million economic impact on the Mankato community.
“Hosting the Vikings training camp is an integral part of our community,” said Mankato Mayor Eric Anderson. “For two weeks, our hotels, restaurants and bars are filled with thousands of Vikings fans. The citizens and businesses of Mankato welcome those fans back in 2011 and moving forward.”
“We are thrilled the Vikings will be making the trip to Mankato this year,” said Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport. “We greatly appreciate the Vikings willingness to leave the decision until the last possible moment. In doing so, the team made its commitment to the University very clear. We have been the home of the Vikings training camp for the past 45 years, and we want that to continue.”
The Vikings first training camp session open to the public will take place on Monday, August 1.