MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Vikings fans sure are ready for some football.

A summer-long lockout didn’t stop more than 9,000 fans from heading to Mankato for the team’s annual night scrimmage at Minnesota State University.

Team officials say 9,145 fans packed into Blakeslee Stadium to watch the free practice. The bleachers on both sidelines were filled and fans also sat on a grassy area in one end zone and stood behind fences to catch a glimpse of Donovan McNabb, Adrian Peterson and the rest of the team.

The big turnout came as quite a surprise for a team coming off of a 6-10 season.

The Vikings weren’t sure they were even going to make it to Mankato for a 46th straight training camp. The labor deal was settled until about two weeks ago, well past the team’s self-imposed deadline of July 18.

Several teams across the league canceled their traditional plans of holding training camp at colleges and universities, instead electing to stay at their team headquarters during a period of such uncertainty.

“To have this kind of support from our fans really validates what the Wilf family did by being patient throughout this lockout and just wanting to be able to come down to Minnesota State here in Mankato,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “A great job them and just tremendous support by our fans.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (8)
  1. dsp says:

    “A summer-long lockout didn’t stop more than 9,000 fans from heading to Mankato ”

    If there hadn’t been a lockout, exactly what would these fans have done?

    Would it have STOPPED them. Bam! STOPPED.

    The writing here sucks as bad as the NFL.

    Stay tuned for your thugs and criminals keeping it real.

  2. Spin me aother happy yarn says:

    Notice how WCCO has been inundating the news page with “happy stories” about the Vikings in advance of the showdown for a special session to force the taxpayers to fund a new stadium for them?

    Next thing you know, ‘CCO will be searching so hard for a positive spin on all things Vikings we’ll be getting reports on the players’ healthy bowel movements after practice!

  3. DJ says:

    Why would anyone go see them like this after the very public display of greed and spoiled behavior that was the NFL Lockout. I look forward to the day they are the LA Vikings.

  4. JaRasta says:

    That’s 1,285.71 fans for each win the purple-pansies will have for the regular season.

  5. DARREN says:

    Their record this year 5wins 11 losses and will NOT make it to the playoffs.

    1. DARREN says:

      wow, a VIking already got arrested, what a shock.

  6. teds says:

    Just think of the economic boost to the economy of Mankato, because of all of the pizza’s being sold.

  7. The Vikings are a boon to Mankato's economy! says:

    And MORE JOBS being created: extra police officers being hired, new bail bondsmen opening shops, attorney’s offices springing up out of nowhere, etc. Yeah, and Deeshawnn, the local herbal & “fringe” pharmaceutical supply man, has already seen his sales quintuple!

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