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The Grove Transforms into a sporting paradise to welcome the Minnesota Vikings

The Grove, Hertfordshire has been a hive of activity the past week, as it welcomed NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings ahead of their match at Wembley Stadium (29th September) where they saw off rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Over 170 people stayed at the resort in total, including the players, coaching staff, medical team, nutritionists and their media support.

Meeting all of the requirements needed to accommodate the Vikings ahead of their stay was a major undertaking for the operations team at The Grove, including turning the existing full size football pitch at The Grove into an NFL pitch by removing a layer of top soil and replanting it with special NFL approved grass.

A dedicated gym was also built in addition to the hotel’s existing gym, featuring cold ice baths and other equipment for training, plus a bespoke locker room, treatment room and weight room.  The players also utilised the hotel’s swimming pools, running track and golf course during their stay.

During the week, The Grove also hosted several press conferences and media interviews with the players, providing the stage and seating in its Potting Shed.

The Grove is no stranger to hosting NFL teams, being in such close proximity to Wembley Stadium and with outstanding sporting facilities and capabilities, it currently boasts a 3-1 success ratio for match wins by the teams it has accommodated.

Jonathan Critchard, General Manager at The Grove explained; “The Grove has enjoyed hosting a number of the NFL sides for previous London games so we have become quite accustom to the  scale of operational change needed to accommodate the teams. We have an excellent relationship with the NFL and work closely with them and the visiting team to get everything in place that the players need so they can just relax and focus on training whilst they are here and feel at home.”

Addressing the media at the press conference ahead of the game, Head Coach Leslie Frazier complemented The Grove and its staff stating; “We’ve really enjoyed our stay, the people have been terrific, the fields, the food that we’ve all eaten, they’ve done a terrific job.”

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