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Vikings, TCO Partnership Creating 'Destination Point' for Sports & Sports Medicine

EAGAN, Minn. —When media members toured the inside of Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center **for the first time** last week, they also learned more details about two adjacent buildings that will be on the 33-acre complex.

The Vikings future headquarters will be 277,000 square feet, feature four outdoor practice fields, an indoor practice facility, state-of-the art fitness and recovery spaces and TCO Stadium, which will be able to host high school and community sports.

The adjacent buildings include a 22,000-square-foot sports medicine center that will feature a Vikings museum and team store on its first floor to honor decades of Vikings Legends and a 76,000-square-foot medical office center.

The upstairs, however, will focus on the future, applying sports science to help athletes ranging from youth sports to high school, community and beyond maximize their full potential.

The medical office center will have 10,000 square feet of physical therapy space, advanced imaging equipment and hydro-works pool on its first floor, an orthopedic urgent care location on its second floor and seven OR suites on its third floor.

Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf said the campus will become a "destination point for sports and sports medicine" through the partnership with TCO.

"We're very excited to have a building like this to move into the 21st Century for our players, for the fans to come out here and for the community," Wilf said. "We hope to have high school sports here, elementary school sports and have the kids come out with their parents to visit the [Vikings museum]. This is a great addition to the community, and we're very happy to see it going up. It will be ready by March."

The opening of an NFL headquarters for community and sporting events is still somewhat rare, even though the Vikings have opened up their current Winter Park headquarters for community events.

"From the first day that our family purchased the team 13 years ago, we always felt that we were stewards of a very proud franchise," Wilf said. "Being a steward of a franchise, you have to be able to open up the team, its facilities and the history to everyone in the community and our fans who make up a great part of the history of the Vikings.

"This is our way to show thanks to everybody," Wilf continued. "Hopefully we will have great attendance here and see exactly how proud everyone should be about our team."

Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren said the goal is to build "something that is absolutely unique and special, the best in the world that will help our football players, coaches, staff to be the best at their jobs."

Warren said the new complex will provide players state-of-the-art facilities during seasons and an option to stay in Minnesota and accomplish their offseason training goals.

"This will probably be the trend in professional sports," Warren said. "We're really excited to be on the front end of this, to create a holistic health center and health-focused environment for our players, coaches, staff, fans and the community, to have high school football here and have a place where young people from the Twin Cities can come here and learn about technology and all of the different things associated with it."

TCO Director of Therapy and Sports Medicine Chris Bailey said the science of sports performance has changed dramatically in the past five-to-10 years.

"It's not just about how high you can jump, how fast you can run, how much you can push or pull," Bailey said. "We're talking about brain health, vestibular rehabilitation and reaction training, nutrition, sports psychology; we're going to bring all of this together and put the best under one roof.

"If it was only about how fast you can run or how high you can jump, we'd know everything after the NFL Combine," Bailey later added. "What we're finding out in sports performance, it's how you react to your environment, so vision training is something we're looking strongly into."

Bailey said "vision, innovation, community and premier orthopedics" are guiding principles of the TCO project.

"We couldn't be more excited to see this actually start to come to life. Being excited is a tremendous understatement from that point of view," Bailey said. "In just a short few months, we're going to not just talk about how this is going to be different, but our patients and clients will start to experience the difference of what makes this campus unique regionally, nationally and internationally."

View images from the Twin Cities media's late October tour of the Vikings future home in Eagan.

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