A 52-Year Tradition Ended Tuesday in Mankato
It was as much as part of late summer in Minnesota as corn on the cob, back to school sales and the State Fair, but it all ended Tuesday.
Yes, Tuesday was the very last day of the very last time the Vikings would hold training camp at the Minnesota State Mankato campus. The team announced earlier this year that beginning next summer, they’d be holding holding training camp at their now under-construction new team headquarters in Eagan.
You can’t blame the team for wanting to use their multi-million dollar new facilities, I guess. But it’s still too bad the team’s ending its 52-year tradition in Mankato. I always liked seeing NFL teams (and their millionaire players) head back to those same cramped, non-air conditioned dorm rooms I used to live in when I went to college at UW-Eau Claire back in the day.
For a while there, Minnesota and Wisconsin were home to a several of NFL training camps. In addition to the Vikings in Mankato, the Kansas City Chiefs used to hold camp in River Falls, the Chicago Bears were down in Plateville, the New Orleans Saints trained in La Crosse, and the Jacksonville Jaguars held camp over in Stevens Point.
Now, though, pretty much every team is doing just what the Vikings are doing — staying close to their home base. Like I said, I don’t really blame them, but it’s still kind of sad to see it all end. Here’s what the last day looked like over in Mankato…