Vikings training will take place in Mankato, just as the team had been hoping all along.
The team reports to camp on Sunday with the first practice open to fans on Monday.
"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," the team announced in a statement Monday afternoon.
"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" Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf said in the statement. "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."
The Mankato Convention and Visitors Bureau estimated that Vikings training camp has a $5 million economic impact on the community, and business owners close to the Minnesota State University campus estimate that about 7 percent of their annual business takes place during that two-week time period.
Last year, about 60,000 fans from 28 states, Canada, England and more than 100 different Minnesota cities attended last year's training camp, according to the team.
"Hosting the Vikings training camp is an integral part of our community," Mankato mayor Eric Anderson said in a statement. "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."
This year, without an offseason for coaches to work with players, especially rookies, camp rosters will be increased from 80 to 90 players.
"It is tremendous to know that we can once again hit the field and get back to football. I feel very good about how our coaches have been preparing all offseason, and we are ready for the staff and players to start working together to help us accomplish our goals," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "It is terrific that we can now get into training camp and have our players start working and competing at their respective positions so we can begin to lay the foundation for success. I look forward to seeing our fans in Mankato."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Mankato keeps Vikings training camp
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