MANKATO, Minn. - The Minnesota Vikings today ended their final training camp in Mankato.
After more than 50 years on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato, the team will be moving its training camp to Eagan next year and into its new Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO) Performance Center.
"When I was a kid, I came here every day until I was probably in fourth or fifth grade."
Childhood memories Brandon Greiner cherished so much that, as an adult, he bought a house just three blocks from the stadium.
"We have a 4-year-old kid and we're just like 'Oh, we'll bring him to training camp every year, it will be great.' We have to go a little further now."
Going a bit further is no problem for Michael Wharton. Every year he and his family make the pilgrimage from River Falls, Wisconsin...despite getting grief from friends and neighbors back home.
"This has been quite a ritual in a lot of ways and so a lot of folks, they'll miss that. It will change the town."
Training camp has been, by some estimates, a $5 million economic boon for the city of Mankato, with hotels, restaurants and gas/conveniences stores catering to fans that make the pilgrimage.