Life Time takes over Vikings' old Winter Park campus for new 'Sport' location

The next use of the former Minnesota Vikings practice facility at Winter Park was announced Wednesday.

Life Time said it will take over the location this fall, turning it into a Life Time Sport, which it says is an all-new concept following a pilot program in Lakeville.

While the facility is being renovated, Life Time is offering outdoor play and limited access events during September.

The renovations will begin soon with a grand opening planned for this fall. The football field will be turned into six to eight small soccer fields. The outdoors fields will become another 12 to 16 small fields.

A viewing area, lounge rooms with TVs and a cardio and weight room will also be added for adults.

According to a release from Life Time, their new Sport location will offer, “a flexible alternative to organized team play with schedules and formats that make it stress-free for parents to drop off their kids when it works for them.”

Life Time Sport will allow kids to play 10-minute scrimmages with referees, divided by age and ability, playing on smaller, short-sided fields.

Life Time Founder, Chairman and CEO Bahram Akradi gave a statement on the new facility Wednesday:

As I reflect on my youth, I recall how much fun playing soccer brought me. Every day after school, I dropped my books at home and joined my friends in the street to play this great sport. Nothing was structured and, along the way, we all learned valuable leadership lessons and life skills. Today, as a parent of young kids, I realize it is quite the opposite. Our lives – and those of our children – now are so incredibly organized, it can be inconvenient and exhausting. That’s why I’m so passionate about Life Time Sport, which offers fun, free play and a controlled level of guidance from a coach so kids can get back to just being kids.

Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren gave his thoughts on the new use for the old practice facility, too.

“Life Time has been a long-standing and valued partner of the Minnesota Vikings for decades,” Warren said. “We are excited to know Winter Park will be filled with fun through Life Time Sport while we continue to evaluate the long-term redevelopment plans for the property.”