MANKATO – 7/28/15
Ahren Backman | Afternoon Reporter
With a torrent of Vikings fans entering Mankato for training camp, local economy is benefiting. Chris Willard of the Mankato Sports Commission said the economic impact of Vikings training camp in Mankato is likely around seven digits.
“The generally accepted number on it that we have used for a couple years now has been that the economic impact is five million or so per year. I think this is a little bit conservative at this point.”
Typically, training camp brings in over 50,000 people, but Willard thinks that number could be higher this year. Excitement over the team’s success at the end of last season winning 4 of their last 7 games probably has something to do with it. Willard cited this year being the 50th anniversary of Vikings training camp in Mankato to be a critical factor.
“We anticipated that attendance number probably break closer 60,000 when all is said and done this year.”
One of the industries benefiting from the mass visitors is the hotel industry. The American Inn is located just blocks from training camp on Stadium road, and front desk worker Holly Tourville says the hotel is busy.
“We have been sold out for the next five days here, defiantly projecting to be sold out for another two weeks.”
As far as sales go, Tourville said the hotel has already passed the busiest July ever by twenty thousand dollars with most of training camp still remaining.