Goodbye, Mankato. Hello, Eagan.
The Vikings made the worst kept secret in sports official Tuesday by announcing that this year's training camp will be the last in Mankato. Starting next year, the Vikings will host training camp at their new headquarters – Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO) Performance Center – in Eagan, which is scheduled to be finished in March of 2018.
To honor a 52-year partnership with Minnesota State University, Mankato the Vikings are doing a few cool things before saying goodbye for good in August.
Scholarship award: The Vikings will give out an annual scholarship to a student from Blue Earth County planning to attend MSU-Mankato.
Free poster: Fans can grab a commemorative training camp poster from Vikings Village.
Free pamphlet: The Vikings are calling it a "Training Camp Playbook," but it's really just a pamphlet that recognizes 52 years in Mankato.
Recognition ceremony: This will happen before the Aug. 5 night practice at Blakeslee Stadium. Vikings greats will speak at the ceremony. No word on which players will speak.
"Over the past 52 years we have formed incredible relationships with Minnesota State University, Mankato, the City of Mankato, and the entire community, and those partnerships made this decision difficult,” said Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren. "With our increased space and amenities, the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center will give our players, coaches and staff the best opportunity to succeed, and we feel hosting training camp at our new home is the proper move for the organization and Vikings fans. We strongly believe it is important to make this announcement now so we can truly celebrate 52 years with our Mankato partners this summer."
Vikings rookies report to Mankato on Sunday followed by three days of rookie practices. Veterans report on Wednesday the 26th and the first full team practice is set for Thursday the 27th.