Free At Last (Again)

Less than a week after fans were told they were going to have to pay to watch training camp practices, Zygi Wilf put a stop to that -- returning practices to being free to the public.

The was a certain amount of disdain that accompanied the announcement by the City of Mankato that fans at training camp were going to be charged to attend practices. To compound the matter, it was upsetting the Vikings.

Despite a similar attempt a few years ago by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder that later was deemed an unqualified failure, the plan seemed well on its way to proceeding until owner Zygi Wilf stepped in and put a stop to it.

Wilf said he would make up for any shortfall in revenue that would be created by charging fans. VU has been told that the red flags came up at Winter Park when it was learned that scouts from any other NFL teams could legally attend Vikings practices if there was a charge to see them. Under the old (and now new) rules, scouts are forbidden from attending practices.

To make up for some of the new lost revenue, the city bumped the price of parking from $2 to $5, which should cut into what Wilf will have to pay. But, the bigger news is that the Vikings rejoin the other 31 NFL teams that allow their die-hard fans to see the practices for free and not have to shell out more money to watch their heroes go through drills.

* Work has begun on improving the Vikings ship outside Winter Park. But there is a mistaken impression that the ship has fallen into disrepair. It was supposed to look like that. The boat was a little ratty looking when it was built -- much like garbage art. The Vikings didn't sail to the New World on an Alumacraft, they came in old ratty wooden boats. The boat was supposed to symbolize an ancient relic. But sometimes, ancient relics looks kind of ugly.
* The Vikings signed a pair of free agents Wednesday -- RB Adimchinobe Echemandu and WR Siaha Burley.
* The Vikings have sold out all of their regular season games with the exception of Cleveland and Chicago. Only a few tickets remain for those games, so in a likelihood, the Vikings will sell out all their games for an eighth straight year.
* The Eagles signed third-round pick Ryan Moats Wednesday, bringing the number of first-day draft picks that have signed to six -- two second-round picks and four third-round picks. To date, no first-round picks have signed.

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