EAGAN, Minn. (KMSP) - U.S. Bank Stadium opened two years ago to rave reviews, but now the Minnesota Vikings are celebrating the upgrade of their day-to-day operations base.
"To me, it just represents a new era in Viking football," said Lester Bagley, the Vikings executive vice president of public affairs.
The Vikings have opened their doors to the brand new Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center. Players and staff all now find themselves under one roof and the vision the team had for itself is now finally coming to fruition.
"We did have the goal of putting the Minnesota Vikings franchise where it belongs, which is a world class franchise, first-class facility and it started with the stadium and now hosting the Super Bowl like we just came off the heels of and this TCO Performance Center, which is state of the art," said Mark Wilf, Vikings owner and president.
First class is perhaps an understatement. Vikings players have access to the latest and greatest when it comes to performance training: a new weight room, a new indoor practice field, even a cryotherapy chamber that dips to temperatures of as low as 196 degrees below Fahrenheit. But while the Wilf family is prideful of what they've been able to build, they still have one goal in mind.
"Buildings don't win championships, but it gives us a chance for our players to feel right and perform at their highest levels," said Wilf.
The Vikings believe the new facility reflects their level of commitment to putting together a championship level team on the field. It's just one part of the puzzle, but with it, the Vikings feel they can compete with anybody in attracting the best NFL talent on the market.
"I have a lot of faith in Rick [Spielman] and Mike [Zimmer] and our whole football organization,” said Wilf. “They've got a good game plan together and like every year, we have a lot of confidence. As ownership, our job, we've told them, we'll provide whatever resources they need to keep putting a championship caliber football team on the field and keep knocking on that door."
The Vikings practice facility in Eden Prairie covered 14.5 acres and 138,000 square feet, but in Eagan, the brand new TCO Performance Center covers 33 acres and 277,000 square feet.