The 2015 season marked Chad Lundeen’s 18th with the Vikings and sixth overseeing facilities operations at Winter Park. Lundeen also coordinated operations at the University of Minnesota stadium, where the team spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons, identical to the role he previously held at Mall of America Field.
As the VP of Operations and Facilities, Lundeen oversees or has a hand in four departments: Operations, Facilities, Grounds and Security. In addition to operating Winter Park, Lundeen also holds a partial role in the opening of U.S. Bank Stadium and the new headquarters facility that’s proposed in Eagan. He supports the football staff with daily club operations and assists with numerous other happenings such as the NFL Draft, Top 30 prospect visits, organized team activity practices, team travel for road trips and more. In addition, operations and security work closely together in road trips, training camp and team events.
Lundeen has also worked at four out of the past five Super Bowls in Indianapolis, New Orleans, Arizona and, most recently, Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco. Lundeen holds a consulting role for the league office in Events-Game Operations and joins two staff members from a respective team to help with all aspects of Super Bowl planning and execution. On Sunday, Lundeen assisted the Broncos.
Lundeen first started as an intern with the Vikings in 1998 and was hired full time in 2000 with duties in Operations and Community Relations. An alum of Minnesota State University, Mankato, Lundeen has been a natural fit for handling the team’s training camp efforts each summer. Lundeen earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from MSU, Mankato. He was a four-year competitor on the Mavericks hockey team, a summa cum laude graduate and a recipient of MSU’s prestigious Preska Scholarship, presented annually to a top student involved in campus life.
A dedicated family man, Lundeen makes it a top priority to be with his family amidst the football industry’s crazy schedule. He and his wife, Lindsay, reside in Chaska with their daughters, Evelyn (6) and Eloise (2), their son, Titus (5), and their dog, Virginia.
Influential person in my career: My parents have been the most influential people in my life and have really shaped who I am as far as values and work ethic. Career-wise, Steve Poppen and Rob Brzezinski have been good role models and mentors for me throughout my NFL career.
Advice that stuck with me: When I was contemplating taking a higher-paying job outside of the football/sports industry, someone told me not to focus on the money. They told me to follow my passion, and the money will eventually follow.
Secondly, when I was trying out for my college hockey team as a walk-on, I was discouraged after a day of practice and thinking I wouldn’t make the team. My dad told me to keep giving my best and not to give up. He said something along these lines: “Don’t make the cuts in your head for them. Keep going full tilt with lots of confidence until the head coach looks you in the eye and says you are not good enough … because I don’t see that happening.”
What I love about the Vikings: I love the Vikings. Period. End of story. I was born and raised Scandinavian in central Minnesota, and our family is purple to the core. The team was a big part of my life before I started working for them. I remember being really upset as a youth hockey player because we had a hockey game at the same time as a Vikings playoff game versus San Francisco. My dad was our coach, and I made my mom check the game and deliver updates to the hockey bench periodically.
Feature of my job I most enjoy: I really like the variety that my job entails; I’m not at my desk all day every day staring at a computer. [I’m involved with] training camp, travel, practice, meals, etc. The very best thing is still game day – the competition. Everybody working together for one common goal on Sunday. I don’t think that will ever get old.
Aspect of U.S. Bank Stadium I’m most excited about: There’s a lot to be excited about with U.S. Bank Stadium, but the thing I’m most excited about is the atmosphere – to see the fans’ reaction and also our players’ and coaches’ faces as they enter the locker room area and take the field. It’s going to be fun!
What I enjoyed about working at Super Bowl 50: It has been a great experience for me as well as for the Vikings organization for a few reasons: I was able to network and develop relationships with the league office and other NFL team personnel, learn about many aspects of the big game and gain some inside knowledge and understanding of what we will face/need to do when we play in the Super Bowl again.
One thing about me that would surprise you: Every sports team I have ever played for or been involved with has been purple and gold. My home town of Little Falls, Minnesota, are the purple and gold Flyers. I then went on to play hockey at Mankato State (purple and gold). I now work for the Vikings, and my family lives in Chaska, and its team colors are purple and gold. When the LA Kings changed their team colors from purple and gold to black and white, I knew my dreams of playing in the NHL were done! (Just kidding).
What I like …
• Family activity: Definitely [my wife] Lindsay and I spending time with the kids. We really enjoy swimming at the lake or in the pool. Right now, we’re really into skating on the pond behind our house.
• Possession: I’m not too into possessions, but I’m pretty fond of some pictures and videos of my kids. On road trips, I find myself just going through them on my phone when I’m missing my family.
• Time of year: I like the four seasons that Minnesota offers, but summer is probably my favorite. We can go to the lake, golf, and then training camp is right around the corner and [the Vikings] season starts – which is always an exciting time of year. As a kid, it was winter, because then we could make the ice rinks and play hockey.
• Music: I do like a lot of different kinds of music, but my favorite right now is country. I like the classic country sound, so in today’s world that is Jamey Johnson and rising star Chris Stapleton – that’s my kind of country.
• Gadget/Technology: Not a big technology guy – so probably my smart phone.
• App: MSU, Mankato Mavericks Hockey app. NFL and Vikings apps get some use, too.
• Hobbies: Playing with the kids, coaching their teams, working out, golfing, listening to music, watching sports, and I’ve started to read more recently (on the airplane).
• Movies: The Shawshank Redemption is one of my top movies ever. Good Will Hunting, Braveheart and Gladiator are up there, too. Any good mystery “whodunit” drama keeps my attention, and gangster/mob movies are always fun.
• Restaurant: My family would tell you it’s Qdoba, but a good steakhouse gets it done for me. You can’t beat Sawatdee, either.
• Vacation destination: We have enjoyed Sarasota, Florida, and Phoenix to visit grandparents recently, but the Caribbean is probably preferred by my wife, Lindsay.
• Quote: I’m a bit of a grinder from a work ethic perspective and take the attitude of, let’s find a way to get it done no matter what. So one of my favorite quotes is, “Don’t tell me how rough the water is; just bring the ship to shore.” That quote was on the wall of our weight room at Minnesota State, Mankato.
Another one of my favorites that I like to live by is, “One thing in life we can all control is our attitude.” We all go through difficulties in life, but some choose to handle it in a positive manner.