In southern Minnesota, a 90-minute drive from the Twin Cities, Vikings training camp makes a $5 million impact on the region, said Anna Thill, president of the Greater Mankato Convention and Visitors Bureau. Last year, it drew 60,000 visitors from at least 30 states, and a few foreign countries.
The university charges $7 for parking near the practice fields, but that's only part of the story. The school also receives tremendous exposure.
"They do bring people here, and young people are introduced to the campus. There's certainly a marketing value to the Vikings being here that is difficult to determine," said Michael Cooper, the university's media relations director.
"You can't put a price on it, to be honest. Newspaper articles go out every day that have Georgetown, Ky., as the dateline. It puts the community on the map," said John Simpson, executive director of the Georgetown/Scott County Tourism Commission. The Bengals train at Georgetown College, about 100 miles south of Cincinnati.