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New Vikings training facility center of multiuse development

New Minnesota Vikings development Eagan

Another training-camp development is in the works, as a Minnesota Vikings training facility is envisioned as the center of a new multiuse development at the former Northwest Airlines headquarters in suburban Eagan.

The 194-acre site southeast of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is now unused after Delta Airlines — which purchased Northwest Airlines — scaled back its Minnesota operations. The land sold in June for $10.4 million to Eden Prairie-based The Excelsior Group.

The Vikings wouldn’t use all 194 acres. The team’s new training facility and office space would use 40 acres, with the team splitting operations between downtown Minneapolis’s U.S. Bank Stadium and the few facility. It’s likely training camp would end up moving from Mankato to the new facility. From the Star Tribune:

The team’s sprawling “live, work, play” vision for the Eagan land is detailed in its submission to City Hall seeking a zoning change for the parcel from commercial to mixed use. About 40 acres of the land would be used for the team’s headquarters and practice facilities.

“The Minnesota Vikings headquarters, together with their training facility and stadium, are the anchor of this development and will draw tenants, users, residents and guests,” the team’s proposal said. “The stadium will be home to many public and civic events that will enhance the surrounding area.”…

Starting in 2019, the second phase would be hotel and retail, with a town-square-type design. Poppen said the hotel probably would have 120 to 150 rooms, with a conference center a couple hundred thousand square feet in size.

The new complex would replace the 34-year-old, 12-acre Winter Park training facility in Eden Prairie. When the Vikings opened Winter Park (named for former Vikings owner Max Winter), it was in the middle of nowhere (Bud Grant would feed the deer wandering by); since then the area surrounding Winter Park has been totally developed, with a high-rise next door that forced the Vikings to move many practices indoors to avoid spying eyes.

Eagan’s Advisory Planning Commission will debate the measure on Sept. 21.

The Vikings aren’t the only team pursuing a development centered around a training facility; the Dallas Cowboys should open The Ford Center at the Star in 2016.

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August Publications