EAGAN, Minn. – Giant scissors snipped a purple ceremonial ribbon, triggering the pop of purple and gold streamers to celebrate the grand opening of Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
The Vikings moved into their new headquarters in early March, but the team hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony of the state-of-the-art facility on Friday afternoon.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was among several guests of honor for the day's festivities.
"When I walked around this facility early this morning, the last time I was here was at the groundbreaking just under two years ago, and to see what has been created here, to see the vision, I salute obviously [Mayor Mike Maguire] for his vision and the work that [he] did, and of course [Twin Cities Orthopedics CEO] Troy Simonson for the work that he's done … to make this a very special place – not just for the Vikings but for the community," Goodell said from a stage in the Indoor Practice Facility. "I know the players are going to love this, the coaches are going to love it, the entire organization's going to love this. And I believe this community is going to rally around this type of development, this type of center.
"And what makes this community special, among many other things, is the way this community pulls together and achieves great things," Goodell added. "It's a thrill to be here, and I congratulate everyone for this great success, this great vision."
Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren welcomed special guests, family members, media, and Vikings Legends, executives and staff members to the ceremony. Among attendees were youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Paul; Vikings Legends Bud Grant, Paul Krause, Chuck Foreman and Ahmad Rashad; and the late Head Coach Dennis Green's wife, Marie, and daughter, Patti.
As part of the program, Warren presented Vikings game balls to Goodell, Simonson and Mayor Maguire in recognition of their efforts and support that enabled the dream of Twin Cities Orthopedics Center to become a reality.
When it came time for the official ribbon-cutting, defensive end Everson Griffen and tight end Kyle Rudolph represented the 2018 Vikings team on stage. The Pro Bowlers were joined by Goodell, Simonson, Mayor Mike Maguire, Vikings Owners Zygi, Mark and Lenny Wilf, General Manager Rick Spielman and Head Coach Mike Zimmer.
Zygi Wilf called it an honor to be a "steward of such a great franchise" and reflected back to 2005 when he, his brother, Mark, and their cousin, Lenny, led a group that purchased the franchise. At that time, in addition to establishing the Vikings as a world-class organization, building a new stadium, hosting a Super Bowl and bringing a Lombardi Trophy to Minnesota, the Wilfs aimed to construct a new headquarters.
"I have to say that one of the things that truly struck me as most important was that we always do business together as a family. And I always felt that the Vikings were an extended family," Wilf said. "And what family needs most is a great home. And I'm very proud that we were all able to put together our new home here at TCO Performance Center."
Below are highlights from speeches of other esteemed guests at Friday's ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Owner/Vice Chairman Lenny Wilf
"Besides playing football games, one of the Vikings primary goals is to engage and to impact the community. TCO Performance Center is designed to be both accessible and impactful for the community, as much as possible."
Vikings COO Kevin Warren
"It takes partners to work together. We're very thankful that Troy Simonson, who leads Twin Cities Orthopedics … decided to come together and work together with us to become our partner. To see this come to reality, from the groundbreaking in August of 2016, is truly a magical day."
Vikings GM Rick Spielman
"I'd just like to thank Mark [Wilf] and the rest of our Ownership Group for providing us with tremendous resources to try to accomplish winning championships here. Facilities are very important. It's important to our day-to-day operations, it's important to how we continue to develop and grow this roster. As Zygi stated, Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center gives us a huge competitive advantage by the resources that are provided here – to our players, to our coaches, as we continue to try to strive to get better."
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
"We've been in this facility since March; the players have loved every bit of it, being in here – all of the [amenities] that they have to get better as football players, to get better as a team, to work together as one. It's been great.
"We've got a lot of great people in this organization, a lot of great football players that are good men, that come in here to work, that work together. One of things we were talking about the other day is how guys – Kyle Rudolph from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Everson Griffen from Arizona – two different types of people come together in one locker room to be brothers, to take care of each other, to love each other. And that's the family that we have here and the kind of structure that the Wilfs have built."
Eagan Mayor Mike Maguire
"The Wilfs and the Vikings organization have made a first-rate investment with these facilities, and it's reflective of their commitment not just to the players, coaches and employees of the organization but to Minnesota and its relentless pursuit of excellence. We are grateful for your investment in the future of Eagan. As one of just 32 National Football League headquarter cities in the nation, you have helped make Eagan a destination. And we look forward to being the destination for a celebration parade welcoming the Minnesota Vikings first Super Bowl Lombardi Trophy right here to Eagan."
TCO CEO Troy Simonson
"Twin Cities Orthopedics is very honored to serve as the Vikings sports medicine and orthopedic partner, and thank you to the TCO physicians and staff who dedicate an unbelievable amount of time to the Vikings. It's been very impressive to watch the TCO Performance Center come to life. I don't think there is any question that the vision the Minnesota Vikings and the facilities that have been established here are creating a new model [for the] future of the NFL.
"The TCO team and I have had the privilege to work with the Vikings world-class leadership team, and we could not be more excited to partner with two Minnesota-grown organizations that have an unrelenting desire for excellence."
Owner/President Mark Wilf
Mark Wilf also spoke about future plans for the campus near TCO Performance Center:
"Overall, Viking Lakes includes over 200 acres of development, of which the team headquarters and practice facility make up 40 acres. On the rest of the campus, we're working hard to develop a 4-star hotel and conference center, and a residential development as well as commercial, medical and retail investments. All of this will be interwoven with green space, lakes and trails for the community. The future is great for the Vikings brand, Viking Lakes and for our partners. Thank you again for being here today and for your ongoing partnership."