Just one week from today thousands of fans will make their way to Mankato for the Minnesota Vikings training camp.
But this year, move–in day will be different than years before.
The Minnesota Vikings have been coming to Mankato for training for 48 years now, but this year, for the first time ever, organizers are planning a few parties upon their arrival.
"This is the first year that we're really going above and beyond what we've ever done in the past"
Two years from now Mankato will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Vikings calling Mankato home for training camp.
"You gotta kinda ramp up for the fiftieth, right? So that's what they're trying to do is, make sure that they know that we appreciate them. Last year we had 52,000 people come through town in a two week span. That's a lot of people coming through town, it puts Mankato on the map, it's great for economic impact...we want to keep that."
And to keep that, Visit Mankato and other organizers are putting up street banners and billboards along Highway 169, as the make their way to town. Also, hundreds of employees near camp will be wearing official training camp t–shirts. But let's not forget about the four tailgate parties along the way.
"I think that's really cool that they're involving the fans a lot and just kind of making it more of a spectacle and event and more of a collaboration than in past years.I think that's really cool."
"People know that the Viking's training camp is here, but there's a lot of fun that can be had here outside of that and we're just showing that we're "now playing" we're playing on a lot of different levels and we're having a lot of fun.
So, if you're planning on going next Thursday just remember, the players gotta be at camp by 4 PM. Hate to make coach mad on day one.
There is no cost to any of the activities and if you want to go to any of this year's tailgate parties just head to keyc.com and look for this story.
Vikings Training Camp kicks off Thursday with the players arriving at MSU from 2–4.