Decades later, Vikings say farewell to Winter Park

It’s the end of an era in Eden Prairie as the Vikings officially say goodbye to Winter Park.

After an exciting season last year, the next time the Vikings take the field will be for training camp at their new practice facility in Eagan.

In the corner office shared by the Wilfs, the working world of the owners is now packed into boxes, waiting for a truck headed east to Eagan.

“First day of work for everybody is March 5th…that includes players, coaches and staff,” said Chad Lundeen, vice president of operations for the Vikings.
Our tour of winter park was a last look behind closed doors of the Vikings’ Eden Prairie headquarters, including the offices of General Manager Rick Spielman and Head Coach Mike Zimmer.

“You’re moving your heart, soul, spirit, your emotions,” said Vikings COO Kevin Warren.

Warren said the park isn’t just different from other businesses because of all the weights and the equipment, but because any old piece of paper could be historical.

“One of the things we’ve told our staff is to take the time to move in the right manner because if you find something that can go into our hall of fame, it can really make a difference. I found some letters this morning that I’m glad I didn’t just come in here and say 'throw this box away,’” he said.

Winter Park opened in 1981 because when they moved games to the Metrodome, they needed a new headquarters to go with it.

The Twin Cities Orthopedic Performance Center in Eagan is double the square footage, and office space is actually more than triple the size of Winter Park.

And for the first time, all employees - currently spread in four locations - will be in one place.

But the old place, for all its shortcomings, has truly been a second home.

“I started here July 4th of 2005, and I have been in this building every single day that I’ve been in the state of Minnesota. There’s never been a day that I haven’t been in here,” Warren said.