MANKATO, Minn. (WCCO) — Mankato is abuzz with Minnesota Timberwolves fever as the team opens its mini-camp there on Tuesday at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Local businesses are enjoying the positive attention just weeks after the Vikings training camp brought thousands of fans and millions of dollars.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Laura Oakes Reports
‘Pub 500’ on downtown Mankato’s main drag is the hangout spot, particularly for Vikings fans and players in August. Now, to a lesser extent, it’s continuing during the Wolves’ camp. Bar Manager John Phlom said Mankato and its university is well-suited for these camps. He said the 45-minute drive from the Twin Cities is both close enough for fans and far away enough for players, since there are fewer distractions in a smaller-town atmosphere than in Minneapolis.
Unlike the Vikings’ training camp in August, the Timberwolves training sessions are closed to the public. Even so, the two teams bring a combined 60,000 extra visitors to the area, filling restaurants, bars and hotels. The economic impact of the Vikings alone is $5 million annually.
The Timberwolves open preseason play Oct. 10 against Indiana at the Fargo Dome in Fargo. WCCO Radio 830 AM is the radio home of the Timberwolves.