Winter Park 1

A father and son stand at the goal line of the practice field at Winter Park in Eden Prairie. The height of the indoor field is 73 feet, not high enough for practicing punts. The indoor field at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center is about 100 feet high.

Winter Park in Eden Prairie will soon have a new user and a new look.

The former Minnesota Vikings practice facility is being taken over by Life Time to launch Life Time Sport, following a pilot in Lakeville, the company announced Wednesday, Sept. 5.

The new concept will kick off at Winter Park “once modest renovations are complete later this fall,” according to a news release. Life Time plans to add outdoor play and limited-access events in September. The details of the lease for interim use of the facility are not being disclosed, the company said.

“Life Time Sport is the vision of Life Time Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bahram Akradi, who hopes to bring pure fun back into sports without unnecessary boundaries. Life Time Sport offers a flexible alternative to organized team play with schedules and formats that make it stress-free for parents to drop off their kids when it works for them,” the news release said.

“Kids will take part in 10-minute scrimmages in a no-pressure, fun environment, supervised by certified coach referees who will guide and motivate players during pick-up play. Players will be divided by age and ability, playing on smaller, short-sided fields for more touches on the ball. The program is available for both members and non-members.”

Life Time Sport rendering

This rendering shows a view of the interior north wall of the field house.

The Vikings said goodbye to Eden Prairie this spring to move to a new 40-acre corporate campus and practice facility in Eagan. The team’s last day in Winter Park was March 1, marking 13,439 days since the building was opened in 1981. Winter Park was named for Max Winter, who was instrumental to Minnesota landing an NFL franchise in 1960 and was team president from 1965 to 1987.

Life Time said limited renovations at Winter Park are set to begin soon and a grand opening is planned this fall. The plans call for transforming the indoor football field into space for six to eight small-sided soccer fields that can accommodate 60 to 80 players. Two outdoor fields will be converted to 12 to 16 small-sided fields for 120 to 160 children, and there will be a viewing area, lounge rooms with TVs, a cardio and weight room for kids.

“Life Time has been a longstanding and valued partner of the Minnesota Vikings for decades,” Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren said in a statement. “We are excited to know Winter Park will be filled with fun through Life Time Sport while we continue to evaluate the long-term redevelopment plans for the property.”


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