Vikings seek OK to sell booze at new HQ

Updated at 11 a.m. with Senate committee action

The new Minnesota Vikings team headquarters and practice facility under construction in Eagan is being billed as a fan destination. So the team is trying to win permission to sell liquor there when it opens around this time next year.

A bill that gets the Vikings one of two required sign-offs faced House and Senate committee hearings this week. Sen. Matt Klein, DFL-Mendota Heights, said the facility will be for more than just the NFL players.

"It's going to be a community-based facility and I think it's going to have a lot of destination appeal and so forth," Klein said, mentioning local high school football games and practices as possible uses. "What the state is really doing is just giving the city of Eagan the power to decide if they want to grant a liquor license or not, which I think that they will. I think it's a good thing for the community."

His bill received no questions in the Senate Commerce Committee and could be added to a broader liquor bill still being assembled.

"Once we turned the corner on our stadium, U.S. Bank Stadium, we've now begun to focus on the new team headquarters and practice facility in Eagan," Vikings vice president Lester Bagley told the committee. "We're about a year away from it opening."

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The 200-acre development just east of Interstate 35E and south of Interstate 494 will include indoor and outdoor fields as well as a 6,000-seat outdoor stadium. It is slated to be home to a Vikings hall of fame and the team's annual draft parties, where alcoholic drinks could be served if the license comes through.

The new Vikings' facility will replace the team's current practice center and team headquarters in Eden Prairie, where they have been since 1981.

The Vikings haven't announced whether future training camps will be held in Eagan. The team has two years remaining on a contract to hold its preseason camp in Mankato.

The new development is springing up on a site where Northwest Airlines, which merged with Delta, once had its corporate offices.