The Vikings are saying farewell to Mankato this summer with a final round of training camp on the Minnesota State campus. The summer sessions have been a popular day-trip and weekend destination for fans, with an assortment of activities in addition to a chance to check out the players up close as they go through their workouts.
Here's a guide to this summer's camp, which starts Monday morning with the first practice for rookies, quarterbacks and others who have been asked to check-in early. The three days of rookies-and-quarterbacks practices are a new NFL wrinkle, akin to the early reporting date for pitchers and catchers in baseball.
Workouts: The team will practice twice on most days through the end of camp on August 8. There are two days off scheduled when camp will be closed. The morning practices are called "walk thrus," that are generally without contact. Starting July 29, the afternoon sessions will be in full pads. Here's a link to the schedule and which players are scheduled to sign autographs after the morning workouts.
Speaking of autographs: The Vikings set aside 25 minutes per day for players to sign. A different position is featured each day, and there are a few things to know before you bring stuff to get signed. Here are the rules.
Special events: In addition to the annual fireworks show following the evening practice on August 5, the Vikings also have a first-ever film night planned, as well as a scheduled Women's Day, which includes a VIP Event that costs $50 per ticket. August 5 is also Family Day, with a full scheduled of events in addition to the practices and fireworks. More details.
How do I get to Mankato? From the Twin Cities, take Hwy. 169 south about 70 miles and follow the signs to Minnesota State. Here's a map of Mankato and North Mankato, including parking and some dining information on and near campus.
What else should I do in Mankato? That question is best answered here.
Still have questions? On this page, you'll learn that training camp activities are free of charge but that Minnesota State charges $10 to park on campus. There's also information about first aid and important phone numbers.