Vikings Switch Draft Site

After years of having the Vikings draft party at Mall of America, the Vikes are moving the party to their headquarters April 20.

The Vikings have announced that approximately 1,000 tickets remain on sale for fans to attend the Vikings 2002 draft party at Winter Park, which has been moved from the typical site at the Mall of America.

The draft party will be held at the fieldhouse of the Vikings training complex at Winter Park in Eden Prairie and will include a live broadcast from KFAN-AM Radio, a big-screen feed of ESPN's draft coverage, interactive activities for the entire family and current and former Vikings on hand to sign autographs.

The draft party will run from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Winter Park and access will be limited to the fieldhouse only since the rest of the facility will be used as the Vikings drafting war room. For those interested in purchasing tickets, call 612-33-VIKES for more information.

* Viking Update and will be sponsoring a draft party for those unable to attend at Winter Park at Benchwarmer Bob's Sports Cafe in Burnsville. The BWB draft party will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and includes several drink specials and prizes. For groups planning to attend, call J.C. at Benchwarmer's at 952-895-0800. Benchwarmer Bob's in Burnsville is located three blocks east of Hwy. 35-W at the Burnsville Parkway exit.
* Some with the Vikings aren't too pleased with the NFL's continued problem with scheduling bye weeks. It had been expected that the league would revert to its original bye week policy of having four teams from the same division sharing bye weeks to avoid a preparation mismatch of one team having two weeks to prepare for a given opponent, while the other team has just one week. No such luck. While the Vikings get no benefit from the bye week -- both the Vikings and Lions share a bye week and play each other upon their return -- the Vikings will have to travel to New York to play the Jets after they are coming off a bye week and will have not only the luxury of not having to travel, but two full weeks to scout and prepare for the Vikings.
* The Vikings may have an advantage as the top free agents around the league remain unsigned. Typically, as the free agent period has gone on, some player demands drop when it becomes clear that their own team won't pony up the dough. The Vikings could solve a couple of problems they have leading into the draft at the right price, with linebackers Donnie Edwards (KC), Kevin Hardy (Jacksonville) and James Farrior (NY Jets) still on the market, along with DT Sam Adams (Baltimore). While they're viewed as potential Pro Bowl players, the Vikes have yet to contact the agents of any of the players.

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