Tuesday, December 1, 2015

lester bagley

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

According to reports from the Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson, the Minnesota Vikings’ owners have signed a purchase agreement for 185 acres in Eagan, Minnesota.  The land could potentially move the team’s corporate headquarters and practice facility from their current home of Winter Park in Eden Prairie.

The Vikings opened Winter Park 34 years ago, and the facility is beginning to show its age. In a May article for the Tribune, Olson described the team’s current offices and practice facilities as “lagging by NFL standards,” specifically pointing to a “dearth of meeting places for executives and players” and coaches’ offices that are “squat, claustrophobic cubbies with little space for much more than a desk.”

For a team with a new stadium opening in less than a year, it’s only fitting that officials begin to identify and develop headquarters that will match the grandeur of their new Sunday home. Shortly after Olson’s story broke, the Vikings released an official statement on the purchase:

“As we have previously discussed, the existing Winter Park training facility poses space and flexibility challenges for the Vikings as we continue to grow and evolve,” said Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren. “While we are evaluating a variety of options to accommodate the long-term needs of our football team and the organization at-large, this property is intriguing for several reasons. Not only does this location have tremendous space and flexibility for future growth, but it also offers proximity to both Minneapolis and St. Paul downtowns, as well as the airport. With this agreement in place, we now have an opportunity to perform a thorough evaluation of the site. We continue to appreciate our strong relationship with the community of Eden Prairie and the positive environment the city’s leadership has created over the past 30-plus years.”

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Following a day in which the Minnesota House of Representatives put forth their clearest signal yet that they are fine with tabling the stadium talk for yet another year, the Vikings are widely expected to pull the gloves off and start throwing punches.

On Monday night, Vikings stadium official Lester Bagley seemed to start that process.

“It’s a mistake to think the Vikings and the NFL will stick with the status quo in Minnesota,” VP Lester Bagley told Fox9 News.

The Wilf family has yet to officially threaten relocation, but the results of Monday’s vote might lead to just that.

Or, they might skip that step all together, and just start making plans for a 2013 relocation.

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