EAGAN, Minn. —The Vikings season is nearing its midpoint, and the team's future headquarters is closing in on its fourth quarter.
Twin Cities media members on Monday toured the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center site and were able to walk through several spaces for the first time. The state-of-the-art, 277,000-square-foot facility is 70 percent complete and on schedule to open in March.
Tour stops included the Vikings locker room, a 6,500-square-foot space that will be made cozier by a pair of fireplaces, and a 6,100-square foot weight room that will feature ample natural light.
The media also visited an auditorium that will serve as a team meeting room. A retractable wall will allow the auditorium to connect to the Vikings Entertainment Network studios and provide a space for potential live audiences.
The third-floor cafeteria offered a peek into the ongoing construction of TCO Stadium, which will host high school and youth sports and other activities, and the exterior of the indoor practice facility is nearing completion.
The headquarters will sit on 33 acres, which is more than double the acreage of Winter Park, which opened in 1981.
Another 167 adjacent acres of mixed-use spaces will be developed in years to come by MV Eagan Ventures.
"We're very excited," Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf said. "The community feels very excited, our fans especially, not only for the facility but for what we will bring to the community here.
"It's a long time coming," Wilf added. "We've really enjoyed the years that I've had and the previous owners of the team have had at Winter Park, but we feel that now is the right time to move on and to move into the 21st Century and reward our players, fans and the community with a great facility. We're very, very proud of it, as we are proud of our stadium and team, especially for our fans."
Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren said the goal was to create a broader campus that would be a destination for the community and capable of hosting national and international events.
"This all started in our heads and moved to our hearts and spirits to create an environment — truly the best in the world. That's our whole goal, excellence," Warren said. "We wanted to create an environment here in the Twin Cities that would create the epicenter of sports, technology, community, people, football, energy and great memories.
View images from the Twin Cities media's late October tour of the Vikings future home in Eagan.
"We think what we've done here is create an environment where this will be a place for families to come together," Warren continued.
The facility will allow for Vikings employees that are working in five different locations to work together under one roof.
Construction also is ongoing for two buildings just south of TCO Stadium. The first is a 22,000-square-foot Sports Medicine Center that also will have a Vikings museum and team store. The second is a 76,000-square-foot medical office building for TCO.
Vikings Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Lester Bagley said the Vikings would like to host a football jamboree in August and a high school rivalry game in September or October.
"This has been the vision from the beginning from Kevin Warren and the Wilf ownership group," Bagley said. "This building needs to be community-accessible, so we're developing partnerships as we speak in our community with non-profits, with youth sports, high school football, soccer, lacrosse.
"U.S. Bank Stadium is a special building, the best stadium in the NFL and the best in the world," Bagley said. "We think that Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center will be just as special. We're very excited about what we're bringing to the table here."