MANKATO, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Vikings have announced their training camp schedule, and will report to Mankato on Thursday, July 25 and start practicing the next day.
But they won’t be staying in their normal digs.
Mankato has been the training camp home of the Vikings for the last 47 years. But the iconic dorm facility housing the players, Gage Hall, will be imploded on Saturday to make room for new construction.
Jennifer Meyers, interim director of alumni relations, says she expects thousands of people to come to watch the implosion.
“We just really want to create a great memorable experience for all the alumni who made this university and that dormitory their home,” Meyers said.
Gage Hall is the tallest building in Mankato. It’s been the training camp home from everyone on the Vikings from Fran Tarkenton to Adrian Peterson.
Gage Hall has been around since 1965, so there are a lot of people who remember living there when they were in college.
Scott Cianek, project manager for the demolition, knows the implosion will be highly significant for many.
“We do deal with this on a regular basis at different universities, where there are landmarks like this,” he said.
Cianek said, by current estimates, approximately 15,000 are expected to arrive to watch the implosion in person.
The team isn’t straying much from it’s typical schedule as players will spend most mornings doing walk-throughs, break for lunch and have afternoon practices.The first scrimmage appears to be set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3, and the Vikings first preseason game is set for Friday, Aug. 9, against the Houston Texans
The implosion is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday.