The Minnesota Vikings unveiled their new practice facility and compound to the media on Friday. Here is a look inside:
- One of the most impressive features of the facility is the Vikings’ draft/film room. GM Rick Spielman demonstrated how the touch screen can open up video clips of each player and allow the team to quickly sort their board. In previous years, the Vikings used magnets with players’ names on them.
“You walk in and you see all the new amenities that are available to them from a sports science standpoint – you saw the cryogenic chamber, I went in and did that yesterday – to our recovery room, to our training facility and weight room to the four grass fields out here, two of them are heated…I don’t think there’s another building like this. I know for sure not in the NFL.”
- The Vikings’ indoor practice field has massive ceilings allowing the team to practice punting indoors whereas they could not do so at Winter Park.
- One of the most noticeable things about the inside of TCO Performance Center is the artwork. Throughout the hallways, there are Vikings paintings and photos abound, including this one that stuck out of the Purple People Eaters.
- The Vikings included an office for Bud Grant that has a personal feel with an homage to his love for hunting.
- In an area called the “super highway,” the Vikings include photos of all of their coaches.
- Construction is still ongoing on the full-use football stadium on the campus. It will be used for high school sports including a scrimmage in August, a “Friday Night Lights” style game and a quarterfinal playoff game as well as other sports like soccer, lacrosse etc. The Vikings will also be able to use the field for scrimmages during training camp.
“We have a natural sort of amphitheater effect,” Vikings Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Lester Bagley said. “We believe this will be excellent for concerts and music festivals. So it’s a multi-purpose facility”
Bagley added: “We can host Division-II or Division-III football with the state-of-the-art press box that we have. High school football, that’s something we really want to focus on, we really want to showcase high school football in Minnesota.”
Bagley mentioned 29 Minnesota companies working on the facilities.
- The Vikings’ new locker room is much larger than the locker rooms at Winter Park. It’s also more comfortable for players and includes a pair of fire places.
- Trainer Eric Sugarman went into detail of the upgrades in training facilities, which includes more training tables and space than Winter Park, a room dedicated to concussion examinations and a hydro room with an underwater treadmill.
- Here is the weight room, which has all new equipment and giant glass doors that can open up to the outside.
- Tight end Kyle Rudolph was at the facility for the second time on Friday. He talked with the media about his new digs.
“It makes this place more appealing for free agents, that’s the only kind of recruiting that we really have,” Rudolph said. “For the most part you’re drafting your guys that are here, but free agency is a piece of building your roster and now you will have an opportunity to bring free agents here and show them this gorgeous building that’s easily the best in football right now.”