Despite recent optimism that the lockout could end soon, NFL teams are making preparations for the possibility that the lockout may continue deep into the summer, or beyond.
The Vikings are the latest team to make a Plan B, announcing today that if the lockout isn’t over by July 18, they’ll officially cancel plans to have training camp in Mankato.
“The Minnesota Vikings continue preparations for hosting the team’s 2011 training camp at Minnesota State University, Mankato,” the team said in a statement. “In respect to the University and the Mankato community, we have informed school officials that July 18 is the latest date to officially determine whether having training camp at Minnesota State University this year is feasible. The Vikings will maintain contact with University officials moving forward, and we remain hopeful we will practice in front of thousands of Vikings fans in Mankato later this summer.”
About 50,000 fans typically turn out to watch training camp, and one study estimated the economic impact of Vikings camp on Mancato at $5 million. In case it wasn’t already clear, the owners and the players are far from the only ones who will be affected if they can’t come to an agreement, and do it soon.