The Free Press, Mankato, MN

July 23, 2013

Vikings, MSU sign camp deal through 2015

Team to pay $135,000 in '13, '14 to use facilities

By Dan Linehan
dlinehan@mankatofreepress.com

---- — MANKATO – The Vikings will hold training camp in Mankato through 2015 after the company reached a three-year deal with Minnesota State University.

The Vikings, who report to training camp on Thursday, will pay $135,000 this year and next year to rent some of MSU’s dorms, locker rooms, practice facilities and meeting rooms, said Rick Straka, vice president for finance and administration. The 2015 fee will be smaller because training camp will be shorter, closer to two weeks rather than three.

The per-day fee in the contract is very similar to last year, Straka said. He said the goal is to rent its facilities for what it costs to operate them.

The agreement, which included this year, was approved just a few days before training camp started. But that doesn’t indicate that the negotiations were particularly difficult, said Straka, who called them “very pleasant.”

“I wouldn’t say there were any significant barriers, from our point of view,” he said.

In addition to MSU's athletic facilities, the Vikings also get exclusive use of the Carkoski Commons cafeteria.

2016 and beyond

The Vikings’ new stadium is slated to be finished in July 2016, though the new facility won’t include a practice area, said Jeff Anderson, Vikings director of corporate communications.

He said there are “no plans” to change the location of training camp after 2015, he said.

“We have outstanding relationships with MSU and the Mankato community … Training camp is a strong tradition for us,” Anderson said.

In a statement, both parties said they were pleased with the deal.

“We are very happy to announce that the Minnesota Vikings will continue to hold their training camp on the Minnesota State Mankato campus for the 48th, 49th and 50th times over the next three summers,” Minnesota State University President Richard Davenport said in the statement.

Vikings owner and President Mark Wilf said: “Being in front of our fans for training camp is a storied team tradition. We appreciate Minnesota State University, Mankato and the city of Mankato for continuing to welcome the team and Vikings fans, and we look forward to reaching 50 years in Mankato.”

The Vikings will stay in the Julia Sears residence hall, which opened in 2008, through 2015. They stayed there once before, in 2010.

The length of training camp, and the yearly rental fees, depends on the calendar. The university sometimes starts classes two weeks before Labor Day instead of one, and NFL rules do not allow teams to hold training camp whenever they choose.