Vikings Hope To Gain Competitive Advantage From Newly Opened HQ
The Vikings on Friday opened their new TCO Performance Center for public tours, and team GM Rick Spielman said there is not "another building like this" in the NFL, according to Adam Krammer of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. In addition to a 174-seat auditorium, the new facility "features a nearly 7,000-square-foot trainer's room that includes a 'concussion room' where brain injuries are treated." Spielman: "I'd match it up against anyone in the country for what this building offers to players." The Vikings also hope a "roughly 1,400-square-foot draft room, modernized with computer programming instead of magnets, will help boost accuracy." Spielman said that the draft room will be "used year-round" (STARTRIBUNE.com, 3/10). ESPN.com's Courtney Cronin noted the Vikings moved into the new 227,000-square-foot HQ "after the NFL combine" on Friday. Players, coaches and support staff will have "access to amenities not available at every NFL facility." Among the highlights of the HQ:
- A 6,500-square-foot outdoor stadium
- Four outdoor grass fields
- An indoor practice facility
- All-new equipment in the 6,100-square-foot weight room
- A virtual-reality simulator
- Movie theater-style auditorium
- Gatorade Fuel Bar
- Memorabilia, art and photos displaying HOFers and former Vikings players
- A digital draft board comprising 40 55-inch television monitors (ESPN.com, 3/10).
TOP OF THE LINE: Vikings VP/Operations & Facilities Chad Lundeen said that two of the four new outdoor practice fields at the facility are "heated with 65 miles of underground tubing." In Minneapolis, Rochelle Olson noted the HQ is "part of a 200-acre development" that Vikings co-Owners Mark and Zygi Wilf "plan to phase in over the next decade." They "expect to add office space, retail and housing to the 'Vikings Lakes' parcel that was once the world headquarters of Northwest Airlines." Vikings Exec VP/Public Affairs & Stadium Development Lester Bagley said that "immediate goals" for the team is hosting events at the new under-construction outdoor stadium, which has "seating for 6,500 -- expandable to 10,000." Vikings training camp will be held there this summer, and Bagley said that the team "wants to bring in high school football, soccer and lacrosse games as well as concerts." Meanwhile, Olson noted the Vikings' partner in the project, Twin Cities Orthopedics, has an 88,000-square-foot "treatment and sports medicine center" at the new HQ. Vikings execs said that the project was built with "no public subsidy; the Wilfs paid for it" (STARTRIBUNE.com, 3/10). In St. Paul, Nick Ferraro noted the Vikings have "not specified the cost" the Wilfs paid. (TWINCITIES.com, 3/10). ESPN.com's Cronin writes the new team HQ "puts the Vikings in an elite group of NFL franchises" (ESPN.com, 3/9).