Scouts may be free to roam Vikings practices

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- The decision to charge admission for summer practices could mean that for the first time the Minnesota Vikings will have to admit scouts from other teams, and that concerns coach Mike Tice.

"It is something, (NFL) scouts attending practice, that could hurt us as it pertains to personnel," Tice told the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Monday.

A loophole in NFL rules was opened when the Greater Mankato Training Camp LLC announced Friday that they will charge a $5 entry fee for practices Sunday through Friday, and $10 on Saturdays.

League rules state that scouts from other teams cannot attend free practices, however if a team charges admission scouts can buy a ticket and watch. League spokesman Greg Aiello said the Vikings are the only team charging for practices this year.

In 2000, the Washington Redskins were the last team to charge for admission to practices. The fee was to help pay for expanding the practice facility, but the team abandoned the idea in 2001 after finding a Dallas Cowboys scout took notes on each practice.


"It brings another problem for the Vikings, and we know that. But they did not tell us not to charge," said Paul Wilke, president of Greater Mankato Training Camp LLC.

Wilke said the admission fee will help offset operating costs of the fair-like atmosphere around training camp called Vikings Village, which last year included food, music and games. Attendance last year was about 71,000.

Wilke said he would listen to the team if it wanted to get rid of the entrance fee, even though Wilke's group has already paid for advertising and printed tickets.

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