Chances Of Vikings Training Camp In Mankato Dwindling
Just over a week before the Vikings are supposed to report to training camp, the NFL still does not have labor peace. But the team remained hopeful Friday it can hold camp in Mankato for the 46th year.
“We’re still focused on Mankato and having training camp in front of our fans,” said Jeff Anderson, the Vikings assistant director of public affairs. “This has been a priority for the Wilfs and for coach [Leslie] Frazier. Clearly we’re in a holding pattern, but we’re doing everything we can to be down there, and we’re optimistic it will happen.”
Vikings officials have been meeting throughout the week to discuss the issue, and the focus has continued to be that it would be best to go to Mankato. Some members of the Vikings operations staff already are in the city to help with preparations.
The Vikings are scheduled to report to camp on the Minnesota State University campus on July 31 and begin practicing a day later. Anderson said no final decision will be made in the next several days, even if there continues to be no labor agreement.
At some point, the team might have to decide to train at its Winter Park facility in Eden Prairie. The issue is that Winter Park isn’t designed to accommodate fans and the Vikings practices in Mankato are open to the public and usually well-attended.
MSU’s academic schedule also plays a role in this and means the Vikings won’t have the alternative of staying late, even if camp doesn’t open on time.
This really is a bummer. I think we can all assume that training camp in Mankato will only happen if an agreement is reached before this Monday. Monday is the new ‘rumored’ day that the lockout could be lifted. Still, Mankato would have to prepare and the Vikings players need traveling time. It looks like training camp in Mankato isn’t in the fans favor.
UPDATE – training camp is a go! http://www.mnvikingsblog.com/2011/07/25/vikings-will-report-to-mankato-msu-for-2011-training-camp/