The Minnesota Vikings are moving from Eden Prairie to a new facility in Eagan next year, with executives proudly calling the new Twin Cities Orthopedics Center another “world-class facility” after the team played its first season in the new game-day home at U.S. Bank Stadium last year.
The 40-acre Vikings facility will be located within the 200-acre Viking Lakes facility that will feature a new 88,000-square-foot facility for Twin Cities Orthopedics, as well as residential housing and potential commercial, office and hotel and restaurant areas.
“We’re incredibly excited as a Vikings organization about this incredible project for a number of reasons,” Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf said Wednesday as part of an on-site presentation and tour of the grounds at the old Northwest Airlines headquarters just south of I-494 near Dodd Road in Eagan. “First and foremost, we’re going to give our players the best possible environment to succeed. And that’s still our ultimate goal is to win a Lombardi Trophy and Super Bowl championships for the people of Minnesota and for Vikings fans everywhere.”
The TCO Performance Center will more than double of the space of the Vikings’ current facility, Winter Park in Eden Prairie, from 138,000 square feet to 277,002 square feet. Employees that are now spread out in four different locations due to the constraints of the Vikings’ property in Eden Prairie will be in one facility with the anticipated March 1, 2018 move-in date.
The new field house area for indoor practices is essentially the same size – 4,630 square feet more than the current 88,000 square feet – but will have a roof high enough, 98 feet, for punting.
As part of their 40-acre parcel, the Vikings will have four outdoor grass practice fields, including two that are heated, instead of two. In addition, there will be a synthetic turf field as part of a stadium that seats 6,501 and can be expanded to 10,000. In addition to potentially hosting training camp practices in the stadium, the Vikings want to use that for hosting high school rivalry games on Friday nights, as well playoff games leading up to the Prep Bowl, which will still be played at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“This is not only good for Minnesota, this will create jobs, it will create energy,” said Kevin Warren, Vikings Chief Operating Officer. “I can’t tell you the number of people around the world that are talking about this environment here. … This will be become the epicenter of sports, entertainment, technology, health and wellness. People around the world are already talking about this. So to stand before you today, I’m honored as a Minnesotan to be proud to say, again – we did it at U.S. Bank Stadium – and we’re going to do it here again to build the best headquarters environment in all of professional sports.”
Vikings executives visited numerous facilities in the NFL and in major college football to gather ideas, with the Seattle Seahawks and University of Oregon being two of the most advanced.
In addition to have a TCO clinic on the campus, the Vikings will double their in-house treatment and training tables to 16, nearly quadruple their hydrotherapy center to 1,919 square feet and have four extremity whirlpool tubs.
General Manager Rick Spielman and his scouting department will have a dedicated, 1,352 square-foot draft room. They currently have to use a coaches meeting room during draft season at Winter Park.
The coaches and players will have a dedicated auditorium that seats 174 for film sessions and team meetings. Currently, they have risers in a corner of their indoor practice facility.
“The facility is going to provide much-need modernization and upgrades that set the pace in the NFL and are critical in recruiting and retaining future players,” Wilf said.
The Vikings Entertainment Network is getting the biggest boost, from a 400-square-foot workspace to 6,201 square feet, and the kitchen and dining area more than doubles to 6,752 square feet.
“This is something that is very unique,” Warren said. “To be in a position to do something cutting edge in this environment in professional sports is incredibly, incredibly unique.”