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Vikings finalize purchase of Eagan site for possible new practice facility

The Vikings could be moving from their headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where they have resided since 1981. Jim Mone/AP

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings announced on Tuesday they'd finalized the purchase of 185 acres of land in Eagan, Minnesota, for what could become the site of their team headquarters and practice facility.

The Vikings had begun the purchase process for the site of the former Northwest Airlines headquarters in August, with plans to use about 40 acres of the land to replace their aging headquarters and practice facility in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The Vikings have outgrown their current facility, which was built in 1981 and effectively requires the team to operate out of three different buildings -- two in Eden Prairie and one in downtown Minneapolis, near the construction site of U.S. Bank Stadium.

The new facility would allow the Vikings to centralize their operations in the suburb 20 minutes south of downtown Minneapolis. They plan to build a 10,000-seat stadium on the site, which ostensibly could be used for training camp if the Vikings eventually decide not to travel south of the Twin Cities to Mankato, Minnesota, each summer. The Vikings would develop the remainder of the property in stages, with plans that could include a hotel and conference center, retail space and housing. Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren talked in September about the possibility of a team hall of fame in Eagan, and the Vikings have discussed using the stadium to feature high school football matchups during the fall.

"We continue to believe this 185-acre site offers many positive attributes, including space and flexibility, proximity to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as to the airport, and an opportunity to transform a vacant piece of property for the benefit of the community and the region,” Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement.

Team president Mark Wilf said in a statement that "several steps remain" before the Vikings officially decide whether to relocate to Eagan, but the team privately hopes the facility can be ready to open for Super Bowl 52, where it would potentially host one of the teams playing in the game at U.S. Bank Stadium.