MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota sports tradition comes to an end Tuesday.
The Minnesota Vikings held their last team practice of training camp in Mankato.
The team has taken over Minnesota State University, Mankato for the past 52 seasons.
The team will be in their new Eagan facility next year, the TCO Performance Center.
This is an end of an era for a lot of fans, especially for people in Mankato.
Al Wodtke has been coming to Vikings training camp in Mankato for 25 years.
“I wish it would stay longer,” Wodtke said. “You have your football heroes and things, and to be able to be close in their proximity and things and watch them practice is pretty amazing.”
Fans lined up for hours ahead of the last training camp practice to try to meet the players, knowing this year it’s extra special.
“I don’t think [the new facility] will be as up close and personal,” South Dakota resident Rebecca Pester said.
There will be much more than a football field at the new facility. The campus has plazas for events, lakes and even biking trails.
And the new team hall of fame will pay tribute to former Vikings greats.
“For our fans, they really get a lot of cool access while they’re here,” said Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph said. “It’s important to our organization. They’ll make sure they still have awesome access in Eagan as well.”
Fans hope that the experience in the Twin Cities stays the same.
The Vikings contract with Mankato is officially up in December.
The new facility is also expected to have open practices in training camps for fans to attend.