The final hurdle standing in the way of the Minnesota Vikings’ new training facility on a 200-acre site in the Twin Cities suburb of Eagan was cleared Tuesday night as the Eagan City Council voted unanimously to formally approve the plans for the new team headquarters.
The final piece of the puzzle was getting the city council to change the land use designation from Major Office to Mixed Use. By making the land-use change, it will allow larger land development plan that is expected to eventually include offices, retail, residential and hospitality-industry uses, as well as the eventual construction of a conference center. The Vikings have received preliminary approval for all four phases of the overall project and groundbreaking is expected to begin this summer with anticipated completion in early 2018.
“Tonight’s vote is an exciting step forward for the Minnesota Vikings and for the Eagan community, as we can now officially call Eagan our future home,” Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren said. “This project offers a unique opportunity to do something incredibly special, to transform a beautiful but underdeveloped site into a regional destination with a strong community focus. We appreciate the collaboration with, and the guidance from, Eagan city staff, members of the City Council and Mayor Maguire over the past year, and we look forward to bringing this very special community asset to fruition.”
The initial phase of the construction will include five outdoor football fields – four grass and one artificial turf – an outdoor stadium with an initial capacity of 6,000 with room for future expansion, outdoor training area and an indoor practice facility. The complex will include a team auditorium, media center, expanded locker rooms, weight room and equipment facility and an expanded administrative office for the front office staff.
The team will conduct a ceremonial groundbreaking and, much like the team said goodbye to the Metrodome two years ago, two years from now, Winter Park will also be a memory of the Vikings’ past.