MANKATO, Minn. (WCCO) — For more than four decades, the Vikings season for many fans has started in Mankato. But that yearly trip 60,000 fans make every year might not happen this summer.

Team managers said this week they might have no choice but to skip the trip to Mankato. Businesses in southern Minnesota said they would suffer if that happened.

“There are a lot of people who depend on the Vikings for their money, earning their money every year,” said Wally Boyer, who owns Jake’s Stadium Pizza, which is right across the street from where the Vikings usually practice at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

He gets a big boost in business, he said, when the Vikings come to town and bring their loyal fans with them. He estimated it’s about a 15 to 20 percent boost annually.

“People associate Jake’s with the Vikings when they talk about training camp,” he said while pointing out his collection of Vikings memorabilia. The walls of his pizza place have Vikings jerseys, autographs and plenty of pictures too.

The Vikings have showed up with fans for 40 years, but this year, it could change.

“It would be really sad, not just for us, but for the whole community,” said Boyer.

With news that NFL players and owners can’t agree on a new labor deal, the Vikings just recently notified Minnesota State University-Mankato that they might not need the field.

The Vikings announced this week that they’re going to make a decision on a training camp site by July 18. They said they’ve got to have enough time to get the stadium and all the facilities at the university ready by the start of training camp on Aug. 1.

If the Vikings don’t make it to Mankato, they’ll head to team headquarters at Winter Park in Eden Prairie.

“It’s about $5 million dollars of economic impact on this community,” said Anna Thill, president of the Greater Mankato Convention and Visitors Bureau. “There’s a lot of impact all around, and there’s a trickle down effect there that goes out throughout the community, whether you’re hospitality, business-related or not.”

Boyer and other business owners hope the Vikings can find a way to get to Mankato.

It’ll be the first time Coach Leslie Frazier will be in charge at training camp. He recently said that he’s most concerned with getting his team ready for the season, not so much where training camp will be held.

But Boyer and others business owners see it differently. They know how important the Vikings are to Mankato.

“Just hope and pray we get it taken care of, and we have training camp here again,” said Boyer.

Comments (21)
  1. Wally says:

    Mankatos lose will pale in comparison to the State of Minnesota’s when the team departs for California.

    1. Get a grip says:

      Mankato and Minnesota will survive without the Vikings.

      1. Dan says:

        Very Much Agreed

        1. Brad says:

          But what will the state do without the $27.6 million in annual tax revenue?

          If you do the math, assume the average person make $50k/year and pays 7.05% income tax to the state, which would be $3525/year. $27.6million/$3525 = 7830. It’s like losing 7830 tax-paying jobs.

          It comes out to $828 million in tax revenue over 30 years, and that’s just for regular season games. That value is higher than the $300 state contribution.

          I think a lot of people who want the Vikings gone are very short-sighted. Think through all of the variables such as liquor sales, restaurant sales, hotels, player income taxes (they make a lot right?), property taxes on a site that is currently sitting idle and owned by the state, one might realize that this is an INVESTMENT.

    2. Dennis says:

      I don’t think that the city or state would ever recoup the $300-$400 million subsidy that the vikings are demanding. They generate no excess entertainment spending. People will spend thier entertainment $ on other outings if football is not available.

  2. Harry says:

    “It’s about $5 million dollars of economic impact on this community,” said Anna Thill

    O.K. Let’s just dream up some numbers.

  3. Goodbye Zygi - we won't miss ya! says:

    Yeah, who started this “pull a number out of my backside” business anyway?

    “Oh boy, oh boy, we gotta keep da Vikings here cuz dey keep da whole universe in bizness and it’s 18.67854 bezillion lyerkles out of our pockets if dey move ta sum udder place.”

    Well, bite me.

    The Vikings can put up their own yerkles or move outta here. I’m overloaded with Wilf’s never-ending begging for the common folk to line his pockets with 100 yerkle bills. Go away already … and take the beer swizzling, loud mouthed drunks with you; I’m going to the opera.

  4. Brian says:

    Does 98% of the population even care about this? We’re headed for a government shutdown. Thousands of state workers will be laid off. Many state services to the public will cease. But Wally Boyer is going to miss out on some pizza sales. I’m sorry Wally. I’m rooting for small businesses like yours, but the Vikings absence isn’t going to bankrupt you. Business is sufering, huh? Get in line. The bright side is, Mankato businesses still have intoxicated college kids throwing money at them 9 mos. out of the year, at least.

  5. pk says:

    I hear the “Great Minnesota Get Together” – The Minnesota State Fair in St Paul – is going to pull us out of this Double-Dip Recession.

  6. Jason says:

    Bye ziggy, bye vikings. Now Dayton can focus on his job……. walking his dogs. DO YOUR JOB, DAYTON! SIGN THE BUDGET BILL FOR ALL OF US! FOOTBALL IS NOT YOUR PRIORITY!

  7. jan says:

    I agree with everybody but Wally. I have better ways to spend my own hard-earned money than on a stadium for Wilf and Viking fans

    1. Tornado victims for Wilf - unite! says:

      Dayton is unaware that the majority of the public doesn’t want to pay for a Vikings stadium because he can’t focus his crazy eyes and read what we post here. I understand Wilf read some of the posts to him – but – Wilf, well, he edited them for Dayton and told his governorship that everybody, especially the tornado victims, wanted to donate their last dollar to building a new stadium.

      Hey! Who’s knocking on the door? Oh my, it’s five billion little deficits holding out their wee little hands for some of the crumbs falling out of Wilf’s. Go away little deficits, we have a stadium to build!

      Oops, gotta go – it’s time for a beer and a pre-season warm up tailgate party.

      1. Don't need Vikings to have beer says:

        We don’t need the Vikings or a tailgate party to drink beer. I could spend the ticket money and but enough beer to get dizzy!

        Yeah and I’d probably have enough left over to get a pizza from Wally too.

        There ya go – beer is the solution to everything. Beer yes, Vikings no.

        1. Don't need Vikings to have beer says:

          Sorry, too much beer. But should have been buy.

          Burp! Gimme another beer.

  8. wallysux says:

    Vikes and Wilf suck.

  9. Stan says:

    It’s Zero Hour, Ziggy. Now what?

  10. His motto is "Fleece the sheep!" says:

    Keep your doors locked and your wallets and piggy banks hidden! Zygi isn’t finished trying to get in your knickers yet. He doesn’t understand the word “no.” All he understands is $$$$$$$$$$$ and he’s much happier when those buckeroonies come out of our pockets, not his.

    1. How do you feel about the stadium issue? says:

      I take it that means you’re not in the *Buy Ziggy A Stadium* camp?

      Don’t tell me you also want to balance the budget, keep taxes from going up, and have a say in how your government representatives [don’t] work?

      How un-American of you … heh, heh

      1. Don't need Vikings to have beer says:

        What a hoot. I’ll drink to that!

        Hey, pass me a beer will ya, Ziggy?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From WCCO | CBS Minnesota

Good Question
Best Of Minnesota

Watch & Listen LIVE