Details released, plan to go to Eagan Planning Commission next week
The Minnesota Vikings plans to develop a huge practice facility in Eagan is an effort to bring employees under one roof, lift the organization’s status and provide the franchise’s owners with a real estate development opportunity.
The team’s vision, which was released on Sept. 11, is for a new sprawling commercial and possibly residential district that would be anchored by the new headquarters, practice facility and small stadium. The site — located within close proximity to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America — would keep the team visible year-round.
Plans call for three outdoor grass fields, an expanded indoor facility, and a 7,000 to 10,000-seat stadium that would feature synthetic turf. The stadium would be capable of hosting high school games, youth football clinics and other community events. The indoor facility would include space for punting drills and meeting rooms for the team, football staff and non-football staff.
“The team is relocated from its current headquarters of more than 30 years for an opportunity to bring all of our organization under one roof and to create a world-class scenario where our players can be the best they can be, our coaches can be the best they can be and our staff can be the best they can be and we can create a technologically advanced environment for everyone involved at our new potential practice facility,” said Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren in a statement.
The property is currently zoned as major office and the Vikings are asking officials to rezone it as mixed use. The proposal is scheduled to go before the Eagan Planning Commission on Sept. 21 and the City Council on Oct. 6.
Vikings management has signed a deal for the former Northwest Airlines headquarters property located at Dodd Road and Lone Oak Parkway next to Interstate 494. The 185-acre site has remained vacant since the merger with Delta moved operations to Atlanta.
The team’s existing headquarters and training facility at Winter Park in Eden Prairie poses some space and flexibility challenges for the team, Viking representatives have said.
The 12-acre complex currently has two outdoor fields and an indoor facility. One of the indoor fields is less than a full 100-yard football field and the organization’s indoor facility is too low for punting drills and a considerable amount of one end zone is being used for a team meeting room. The rest of the 15-acre site is a protected wetland.
Team management and media offices are at three locations: Winter Park, a leased space in an adjacent bank building and a building in downtown Minneapolis.
The organization plans to at bring all employees to the Eagan location.
“…To be able to know we would have all of our employees under one roof and in one location to be creative, collaborative and to build a world-class environment for our players, coaches and staff is exciting,” Warren said.
In addition to providing the team with a larger state-of-the-art training facility, the deal provides a business opportunity for owners Zygi and Mark Wilf, brothers who made a fortune in real estate development.
Vikings officials said that the property would be developed in phases over the course of several years with the first project being the football facility, which might feature a Vikings Hall of Fame.
Redevelopment plans for the Eagan site also includes areas of commercial space, a potential 120 to 150-room hotel and conference center at the northwest part of the property, a mixed purpose office/retail complex and possibly residential areas.