Lunch Break


Lunchbreak: Media Reactions to Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center

Posted Mar 12, 2018

It’s been a week since the Vikings organization moved into Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in Eagan.

Last Friday, the team opened its doors to nearly 75 media members for the first tour inside the building since occupancy.

Media members had different takeaways from their tour, which lasted more than two hours, and expressed that the venue left them impressed.

The 277,000-square-foot practice facility and headquarters features modernized spaces, but Nick Ferraro of the Pioneer Press bird-dogged Bud Grant’s retro office.

And yet one top-floor corner office — Bud Grant’s — stood out among the glitz. Hunting and fishing pictures hang on the brown-paneled walls. The former coach’s old nameplate is on the front of a wood desk that used to be Max Winter’s.

Rochelle Olson of the Star Tribune toured the farewell walk-through at Winter Park, the team’s former facility that opened in 1981.

Where the old home was a squat warren of patchwork additions with the design charm of a 1970s basement, the new space is airy, uncluttered and Nordic. The lines are crisp. White is the main color, accented with some wood ceilings and stairs, metal railings, stone walls and subtle kisses of purple. Light flows abundantly into rooms and hallways through many windows. …

The move to Eagan was both practical and a complete upgrade from the team’s starter Eden Prairie headquarters, which the franchise had long ago outgrown. Office space was in such short supply that staff was spread among several buildings and cities. Technological and training amenities had deteriorated.

Chad Graff of The Athletic opened his recap with an anecdote from Kyle Rudolph, who stopped in Friday.

Shortly after tight end Kyle Rudolph was drafted by the Vikings in 2011, he was given a tour of the team’s Winter Park facilities in Eden Prairie by then-wide receivers coach George Stewart.

Quickly, Stewart could tell that Rudolph wasn’t amazed by the space, a drastic drop off from what Rudolph was accustomed to at Notre Dame.

“We were walking around, and he was like, ‘In college, they put the money in the facility because they have to get you there,” Rudolph said, quoting Stewart. “ ‘In the NFL, we put the money in your pocket and you just deal with the facility.’ ”

Vikings Athletic Training Staff Garners League-wide Award

Vikings Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman was one of the presenters during Friday’s media tour and also gave a first look at the team’s new expansive training and rehab areas.

Over the weekend, Sugarman (middle of picture in tweet below) and staff (from left to right, David Jantzi, Albert Padilla, Tom Hunkele and Rob Roche) participated in an industry tradition by attending the 40th Ed Block Courage Awards in Baltimore where they were celebrated as the NFL Training Staff of the Year.

The Vikings staff was chosen by members of all 32 NFL athletic training staffs and membership of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society for this prestigious award.

The awards were created in honor of former Baltimore Colts athletic trainer, and a player recipient from each team is honored each season. Rudolph was the winner in 2017. Former Vikings linebacker Michael Mauti was the Saints recipient, and Caledonia native Karl Klug was the Titans recipient this season.