Photo credit: Mankato Free Press
Since 1966, Minnesota State University – Mankato has been the home for Minnesota Vikings Training Camp.
So many great memories there, both for the entire organization but also the fans.
Rudolph talked about how the fans always have a lot of energy and excitement. Said he'll miss Mankato. #vikings
— Ali Siddiqui (@asiddiqui15) August 2, 2017
I started college there in '86. It's AMAZING how much *Camp has grown. Makes one smile. I used to teach @ NATCO. It's a great area up there.
— N D Armour (@ndarmour) August 8, 2017
— Brandon Lewis (@Brandon_L_Lewis) August 8, 2017
Today is the last ever practice in Mankato for the #Vikings. Truly the end of an era. Makes me kinda sad, tbh
— Ted Glover (@purplebuckeye) August 8, 2017
Wide receiver Adam Thielen certainly has good memories there too. He played collegiately at Mankato as a walk-on and then entered the league in 2013 as an undrafted free agent, a practice squad player and is now a wide receiver.
“When you can kind of grab something that is familiar, that kind of keeps you calm and helps you just play football,” Thielen said. “It was nice for me to come out and be familiar with the practice field and the game field and just have something that kind of relaxed me.” (CBS Minnesota)
Mankato will likely always be considered as “Field of Dreams” for Thielen.
Next season the Vikings will move training camp to Eagan, which is also where the new team headquarters will be. Currently the team headquarters are located in Eden Prairie and has been since 1981.
It never easy to say goodbye to a familiar place.
“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,” Vikings COO Kevin Warren said in the statement. (1500ESPN.com)
The facility will be a nice upgrade from Mankato though.
Eagan is also much closer to Minneapolis and St. Paul than Mankato is.
The team medical staff will also not need to bring their equipment from a different location.
All in all, Mankato will be missed by many, but the new facility and the closer drive for many fans will certainly be beneficial. Players will also no longer need to stay in dorm rooms during camp.
The airport and Mall of America will also be very close to the new Eagan facility.
On a personal note, I will miss Mankato, but excited to see the new facility. Going to Mankato was always fun. Both as a fan and to cover the team. Having the opportunity to cover camp a few times was definitely a great experience and I will never forget it. Eagan though should be a fun new experience though.
Old memories are always great, but so are new memories.