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Vikings, U.S. Bank give out final “Places to Play” grant

The tally was $1 million over the past three years

Divisional Round - New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

On Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings and U.S. Bancorp gave out the final grant for a program that, over the past three years, has given children across the state of Minnesota numerous places to take part in different athletic endeavors.

The “Places to Play” initiative was started in 2015 by U.S. Bancorp as a partnership with the Minnesota Vikings to provide different venues (not just football-related) for children in different cities across the state. Over the course of the past three years, the program has been responsible for 25 grants, totalling $1 million.

The final grant was given on Thursday to the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Conservancy to build Kato courts at the Duluth and Case Recreation Center, as well as in Marydale Park. According to the article from Patrick Kennedy of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Kato is a traditional Southeast Asia sport in which players use their hands, feet, knees, and head to put a ball over a 5’1” net. The courts will be the first permanent ones of their kind in the Twin Cities area.

Some of the other grants, according to Kennedy’s story, went towards the creation of an outdoor hockey rink in the Phillips West neighborhood of Minneapolis, new bleachers for the baseball field in Fairmount, Minnesota, and gym improvements for the Conway Community Center in St. Paul. Other cities that got grants from the “Places to Play” program were Duluth, Grand Rapids, Jordan, Richfield, and Walker.

I seem to be saying this a lot lately, but it’s really great to see the Vikings doing stuff for the community like this. Not just the Twin Cities community, but across the state of Minnesota as a whole. . .the Vikings community. This seems to have become a priority for the team over the past few years, and it’s something that’s been a huge positive not just for the franchise, but for those it benefits. We’ll certainly have more of this sort of news in the future.