EAGAN, Minn. (FOX 9) - The United States Curling Association says it is moving its headquarters from Stevens Point, Wisconsin to the Viking Lakes campus in Eagan, Minnesota.
The new headquarters will be next to the Minnesota Vikings headquarters and training facility, USA Curling announced Friday morning.
The goal of USA Curling is to grow the sport and to compete here and overseas.
"We couldn’t be more excited to be part of what’s going on here," said curler John Shuster.
In announcing the move, there are the obvious conveniences of a metro area.
"Our athletes travel internationally and that from a small town in Wisconsin is not easy," said USA Curling CEO Jeff Plush. "From MSP, it’s really easy, anywhere in the world."
But in putting their headquarters at a professional training facility, it’s affirmation.
"It’s extremely athletic and the sport has evolved a lot over the years, so it’s become a heck of a lot more athletic than it was years ago," said U.S. Women's curler Jamie Sinclair.
"You know we’ve always craved a facility and an office in a place where us as athletes I think feel on par with these other athletes," said Shuster.
Team Shuster celebrated gold medal win in the 2018 Olympics elevated the sport in the eyes of the public, but the game had already changed. Shuster says at his first Olympics in ‘06, you could tell the curlers from the athletes, but not anymore.
"In 2018, you could walk through the Olympic Village and if you didn’t know who the curlers were based on their face, you didn’t know which ones were curlers because we all now have turned into athletes," said Shuster.
USA Curling already made the Chaska Curling Center their national practice facility, so it made sense to be fully based in the Twin Cities, with the goal of growing the game. Curling is a lot tougher on the body, knees, and hips than it looks; it requires strength and stamina.
Now, the USA team will train next to other athletes.
"That alone is really motivating like we’re just really inspired to be around all these athletes and just really excited to have curling be part of this," said Sinclair.