|Wednesday, October 1
Mission of amateur facility not right for NFL
MANKATO, Minn. -- Blaine, one of a handful of cities courting the Minnesota Vikings to host the team's training camp, has dropped out of the running.
"We're an amateur sports facility. The Vikings training camp just doesn't fit in with our mission," said Barclay Kurse, associate director of the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, which owns the facility in the Minneapolis suburb of Blaine.
The city's National Sports Center was expected to make the strongest bid to lure the Vikings away from Mankato, where they've practiced for 39 years. The Vikings' presence is great for Mankato businesses, but the team says the city is too expensive.
Greater Mankato Chamber of Commerce President Dave Schooff told business leaders Tuesday that the competition for camp appears to be between Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud and Duluth.
Last week, Vikings officials sat down with representatives from communities that will make proposals for the camp.
Schooff said the Vikings want to cover their $500,000 camp costs and turn the three-week training camp into a moneymaking event.
The city is considering things like concerts, fireworks, parades and other entertainment built around training camp, which would be marketed across a five-state area.