Soon, thousands of Vikings fans will make a familiar trek to Mankato, Minnesota to watch their football team prepare for the 2012 season at Verizon Vikings Training Camp. Mankato has been the Vikings training camp home for 47 consecutive years, meaning both the team and its fans have grown accustomed to day-to-day life in that setting.
There is a change to this year’s training camp schedule, though. And both the team and fans will be impacted by the change.
In recent seasons the Vikings have held practices in the morning and walk-throughs in the afternoon. This year the team will flip that schedule, instead choosing to conduct a walk-through session in the morning and then hold a full practice in the afternoon. As you can see in the training camp scheduled posted on vikings.com, the Vikings will hold their one-hour morning walk-throughs at 10:30 a.m. and then will begin their practice at 2:45 p.m. (concluding most days at 5:30 p.m.).
It’s important for fans to note the times of both walk-throughs and practices because many fan-favorite events are scheduled around those events, such as: morning autograph sessions, Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader clinics, youth football clinics, and various Vikings Village activities.
This change in schedule has many benefits for both the team and fans. Here are just a few of them…
– The morning walk-through schedule allows for better autograph access for fans because players may be more engaging and willing to sign since they won’t have just concluded a demanding practice.
– Walk-throughs are conducted at a more relaxed pace, which will allow fans who’ve seen the morning session in the past a chance to see players in a different light.
– Regardless of which practice session fans attend on a daily basis, they will see the entire team. In the past, select afternoon walk-throughs included special teams work only. With walk-throughs scheduled for the morning, more of them will include the entire team.
– Having padded practice in the afternoon makes for a longer day of activity at training camp, including inside the fan-friendly confines of Vikings Village. Fans can come early and stay for both practices, rather than in the past where fans would come early and leave by early afternoon once the padded practice concluded.
– With fans potentially sticking around later in the day, local businesses could see a boost in activity.
Tags: Training Camp
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Good news out of Winter Park today – Vikings 2nd round draft pick OT Phil Loadholt has signed his rookie contract and will report to training camp on time. The only draft choice who remains unsigned is WR Percy Harvin, and I don’t expect that he’ll miss any time during training camp because of his contract. I’m sure his agent and Vikings VP of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski are working hard to hammer out an agreement.
I am just about to pack up and head down to Mankato for a couple of weeks. I’ve been anxious to get to camp during this offseason and I’m even more excited for the season to finally roll around. The time has come to finish preparations for the 2009 season and set out to defend last year’s division championship.
While in Mankato for camp, I will have several entries on the blog per day, especially once practices begin on Friday. In addition to blog entries, we’ll also have headline stories, coverage of press conferences, exclusive video content from practices, and much more.
Also, don’t forget to submit your questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for our Monday Morning Mailbag feature. We’ll be bringing the mailbag with us to camp.
Tags: Phil Loadholt, Training Camp
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