The Break-even Point
Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes this column in which he makes a quick mention of Mankato’s hosting of the Minnesota Vikings Training Camp each summer.
The Vikings contract with Mankato ended after the 2003 training camp. Afterwards, Vikings owner Red McCombs shopped the Vikings around to other cities in order to find someone to help share the costs of camp and to create a festival atmosphere (can you say “market power?”). The primary bidders ended up being Mankato (at my college and 1 block from my office) and Sioux Falls, SD.
Many people thought the Sioux Falls was going to become the new home to Vikings Training Camp, but Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty came in and gave the Vikings a taste of their own medicine: move the training camp out of state and forget about even asking the state for a new stadium.
BTW, according to Hartman, Mankato broke even. I wonder what would have happened had the Kansas City Chiefs and their fans *not* come to town for a Vikes-Chiefs scrimmage.