EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Mick Tingelhoff will have plenty of Purple company in Canton.
The Vikings have been selected to play the Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Aug. 9, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday.
Minnesota and Pittsburgh will take the field before 30 other teams in 2015 by playing in the game that is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) and will be televised nationally on NBC's Sunday Night Football. It will also be broadcast coast-to-coast on the radio by Westwood One Sports.
"We are tremendously excited about the opportunity to kick off the 2015 NFL preseason on a national stage," said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. "This trip will give our young team a chance to appreciate the many players and individuals who have made the game what it is today."
The Vikings will make their fourth appearance in the series, and it will overlap with the enshrinement of Tingelhoff, who started at center in all 240 games of regular seasons from 1962-78 and all four of Minnesota's appearances in Super Bowls (IV, VIII, IX and XI).
"This is a tremendous honor for our organization to be featured in the Hall of Fame Game," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. "It will give our players and coaches an extra week to prepare for the regular season and an additional opportunity for us to evaluate our roster. Pairing the game with Mick going into the Hall of Fame, it will be a special weekend for the Minnesota Vikings and our fans."
Tingelhoff is the sixth player who spent all or most of his career in Minnesota to be selected for the Hall of Fame in the past eight years and 13th person to be enshrined as a Viking. He is part of a class that also includes RB Jerome Bettis, WR/RS Tim Brown, DE/LB Charles Haley, LB Junior Seau, G Will Shields, and contributors Bill Polian and Ron Wolf. The 2015 class will be enshrined Aug. 8.
Tingelhoff's induction was announced Jan. 31, on the eve of Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona. He is the most recent inductee from a list of Vikings greats that includes: Cris Carter (Aug. 3, 2013), Chris Doleman (Aug. 4, 2012), John Randle (Aug. 7, 2010), Randall McDaniel (Aug. 8, 2009), Gary Zimmerman (Aug. 2, 2008), Carl Eller (Aug. 8, 2004), Ron Yary (Aug. 4, 2001), Paul Krause (Aug. 1, 1998), Jim Finks (July 29, 1995), Bud Grant (July 30, 1994), Alan Page (July 30, 1988) and Fran Tarkenton (Aug. 2, 1986).
Others who played or coached for the Vikings that are in the Hall of Fame are: HB Hugh McElhenny (class of 1970), Minnesota's first Head Coach Norm Van Brocklin ('71), C Jim Langer ('87), K Jan Stenerud ('91), former assistant coach Mike Singletary ('98), TE Dave Casper (2002), QB Warren Moon ('06), former Defensive Coordinator Emmitt Thomas ('08).
The Hall of Fame game series began in 1962, a year after the Vikings inaugural season and a year before the museum in Canton opened. It has been played every year except 1966 and 2011. The series introduced the AFC vs. NFC format in 1971.
Tickets and VIP Fan Packages for the NFL/Hall of Fame Game are on sale now and range from $54 to $69. Tickets can be ordered online at ProFootballHOF.com/tickets or by calling 844-4HOFTIX.
Past appearances by Minnesota in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game:
Aug. 8, 1970: Saints 14, Vikings 13 (attendance: 17,932)
Aug. 7, 1982: Vikings 30, Colts (Baltimore) 14 (attendance: 23,379)
July 26, 1997: Vikings 28, Seahawks 26 (attendance: 23,846)