Eden Prairie, Minn. (KMSP) - It’s the end of an era for the Minnesota Vikings.
Starting in 2018, the Minnesota Vikings will hold training camp at their Eagan headquarters. For 52 years, the Vikings have held camp at Minnesota State University in Mankato. But with the team christening their new headquarters, Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center, moving camp has been long thought to be the team’s next step.
“It’s a win-win-win for the Minnesota Vikings and the State of Minnesota,” said Kevin Warren, Chief Operating Officer of the Vikings on a conference call Tuesday morning.
Lester Bagley, Executive VP of Public Affairs, said that the Vikings wanted to announce the move ahead of this year’s camp to “celebrate our final year in Mankato.” The Vikings have planned a number of events for this final camp in Mankato, which starts next week. Every fan visiting camp will get a commemorative poster; the team’s camp playbook will also be free and feature content from camp over the years in Mankato. There will also be two different ceremonies to thank the community.
Warren added in a statement, “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.”
More than 20 NFL teams hold Training Camp at the team headquarters, according to Warren. Bagley added that proximity to the Twin Cities including MSP Airport means the team will expect an increase in the number of fans attending camp. Last year, approximately 64,000 fans attended camp in a two week period. But starting in 2018, that well-traveled trek for avid Viking fans down Highway 169 will be no more.