Vikings' Ops Under One Roof With Opening Of Performance Center
The Vikings’ entire operation is officially "back under one roof" with the opening today of the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan, according to Mark Craig of Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Saturday, the entire team will take the practice field in front of an "expected capacity crowd of 5,000." The Vikings "haven’t said what they paid for the project." However, Vikings Owner & President Mark Wilf essentially said that it is the "cost of doing business in the NFL today." On the football side of the new facility, the training room area "grew the most in square footage from Winter Park (1,800) to TCO Performance Center (6,700)." Vikings Dir of Sports Medicine & Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman said that there "wasn’t anything he asked for that he didn’t get, including hot and cold tubs large enough for 25 players, and an electric cryochamber that no other NFL team has." The weight room is "bigger and more efficient, with two large garage doors that open to the four practice fields and a cardio mezzanine that has three man-made hills built for power, speed and jump training" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/24).
ALL THE GOODIES: The STAR TRIBUNE's Craig noted nutritional snack carts are "available to players as they leave the practice field and weight room." Then there is a "popular fuel bar." It is "three times larger than any other fuel bar Gatorade has built." And it is "user-friendly with portions for several different kinds of smoothies already individually packaged." One of the more "popular features" of the Vikings’ new facility is the "cryotherapy chamber." There also is a "one-of-a-kind 'smart' draft board" that consists of 40 55-inch TVs. The TVs are all "intricately coordinated into a draft board that can with one touch sort and display information" that used to take GM Rick Spielman 20 minutes to "arrange manually with cards and magnets." The board’s efficiency also "helps in pre-draft meetings because it’s big enough to display a player’s game film and all his information, including stats, injuries, off-the-field concerns and a report from the Vikings’ analytics department" (STARTRIBUNE.com, 7/24). In Minneapolis, Jim Souhan notes the facility also includes an "impressive museum, a state-of-the-art weight room, four full-sized grass practice fields, a small stadium and an indoor field." Fans can also tour a museum, "buy gear and dine at food trucks" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/25). In St. Paul, Chris Tomasson notes inside the new museum, there are "items from Metropolitan Stadium." There also are "artifacts from the Metrodome, including a piece of the roof." There are "ticket stubs and souvenirs provided by fans." There are "jerseys, cleats, helmets and other pieces of uniforms once worn by star players." Fans also can see "what it’s like to stand on the sideline at U.S. Bank Stadium during a game" via a VR display (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 7/25).