MANKATO, Minn. - The city of Mankato is putting its best foot forward in time for its annual visit from the Minnesota Vikings.
The team is set to kick of its 47th training camp in the city, and that has business leaders and Minnesota State University officials getting ready this week.
"It means a great deal to them so they certainly show a lot of Vikings pride when they come to town," President of the Greater Mankato Convention and Visitors Bureau Anna Thill said.
Thill says the 50,000 Vikings fans also help provide a 3-week, $5 million impact to the area.
"A lot of shopping happens during Vikings training camp, a lot of eating and shopping," Thill said.
Steve Wegman, who owns Weggy's near the athletic fields, says he's ready for some hungry visitors.
"We'd like to see the big offensive lineman because I think they eat a lot. Kickers and what not, we probably don't need to see because they're probably more toast kind of people," Wegman joked.
Weggy says the coaches like to meet at his breakfast, lunch and dinner joint. He's also not worried about training camp fan attendance after a 3-13 season.
"For as bad as they're supposed to be, they still get so many people. I guess it's like a clean slate and you don't remember last year," he said.
That economic impact the Vikings bring to Mankato spreads far and wide. Even the garden center gets a good jump in business.
"Bringing over the plants to, you know, to help make training camp a little prettier," Bryden Jones, of Drummers, said during one of many deliveries of trees, shrubs and flowers to the VIP area.
Vikings training camp runs from July 27 through Aug. 15. Here's a link to the full list of activities.
Go to www.vikings.com.to for a full list of training camp activities.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)