Next year, the Vikings will have a new stadium next to the site of their old one. The next project could be a new team headquarters. For that, the Vikings could be moving to a new city.
For 34 years, the facility known as Winter Park (named for team co-founder Max Winter, not because it’s always Winter in Minnesota) has kept the Vikings in Eden Prairie. Via the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Vikings could move to a new building in Chanhassen. And that has folks in Eden Prairie concerned.
“The recognition of Winter Park, headquartered in Eden Prairie . . . it’s a good way for people to know where Eden Prairie is,” Pat MulQueeny, president of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, told the Star Tribune. “If the Vikings were to leave, it’s a loss. Definitely we’d like to keep them here.”
Chanhassen wants to grab the Vikings for the same reason — to increase awareness of a town few beyond the borders of Minnesota know exists.
That gives the Vikings leverage, allowing the team to play one town against the other in order to get the best deal. At a time when that approach no longer is working for other teams trying to get public stadium financing, the last team to finagle major taxpayer dollars for a new place to play could end up squeezing major concessions for their new place to practice.