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Vikings Move from Winter Park Nearing Completion

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –It's a bittersweet week at Winter Park.

As the team prepares to open its new headquarters at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center, the chapter of Vikings football in Eden Prairie is coming to a close.

Twin Cities media members were given a tour Tuesday through the building that opened in 1981 and has since been outgrown. Cameras captured bare offices of the Wilf Family Ownership group and General Manager Rick Spielman, hallways stacked with packed blue bins, a quiet locker room filled with rows of cardboard boxes and equipment meticulously organized and bound for the trip to Eagan.

It's the end of an era.

"I didn't really realize how emotional I would be," said Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren. "But even talking to the kids, our daughter goes to school in California, and our son goes to school in Mississippi, talking with them, they were saying, 'Dad, this is the last week.' I thought about that, and to see them grow up, when we moved here, they were 6 and 4 years old and are now in college.

"All of the weekends we came here and played football and had pizza parties for their hockey teams and ran around here, the time we spent together, 'Dad, can we go to work with you?' I get goosebumps even thinking about all of the memories," Warren continued. "I really love Winter Park. We have some phenomenal memories."

Warren also thanked the city of Eden Prairie for its hospitality after serving as the Vikings home for nearly 37 years.

"We may be leaving the location of Eden Prairie, but the relationship and memories we have here, Eden Prairie will always have a special place in the Minnesota Vikings hearts, and hopefully the same for them," Warren said. Warren also thanked the city of Eden Prairie for its hospitality after serving as the Vikings home for nearly 37 years.

"We may be leaving the location of Eden Prairie, but the relationship and memories we have here, Eden Prairie will always have a special place in the Minnesota Vikings hearts, and hopefully the same for them," Warren said.

The excitement for a new facility has blended with the emotion of leaving years of memories over the past few weeks, but the moving process has been anything but hasty.

Vikings Vice President of Operations and Facilities Chad Lundeen explained to the media that more than 12 months of planning and organization have led up to the "crunch time" of the final days before 200-plus employees, coaches and players will begin work at TCO Performance Center on March 5.

The Vikings partnered with Suddath, a moving company that has been helping the team slowly transition over the past four to six weeks. Lundeen spoke about the meticulous progression of "cleaning out" Winter Park for the move.

"I think, first of all, you have to go through and figure out, of all the pieces, what's worth keeping and bringing over there versus what's going to be new," Lundeen said. "And then it's really a logistical puzzle piece. There's just a lot of moving parts."

According to Lundeen, more than 20 truckloads will transfer everything the 15 miles to the new facility. Employees and coaches will send more than 1,500 plastic bins and 200 wooden carts from their offices, and hundreds of pieces of artwork and memorabilia have started to be relocated, as well.

The Vikings will be moving from 138,000 total square feet at Winter Park to 277,000 square feet of space at TCO Performance Center.

The Vikings are set to move out of Winter Park and move in to the TCO Performance Center as the front office held a media tour Tuesday to say goodbye to the team's headquarters in Eden Prarie.

And here's another number for you: Thursday will be the Vikings final day at Winter Park, marking 13,439 days since the team's headquarters, named after Co-Founder Max Winter, first opened.

The big move will take employees who are spread out over four different locations – Winter Park headquarters, Winter Park grounds shop, an office building in downtown Minneapolis and the Olympic Place office building in Eden Prairie – and reunite them all under one roof.

"It's been one of those things that's been a long time coming and a lot of work has gone into it, and now that we're right there, it's fun to get over there and start seeing the new building," Lundeen said. "And then as everything's coming in with new furniture, and everything's getting put in place for the move, it's exciting."

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