• Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck was asked about the progress he is seeing on the $160 million facilities project, a lot of which is happening right outside his window. “The facilities are taking on a new form every single day, something else is getting added onto it, you can see the progress,” Fleck said. “Just from the seven weeks I have been here, it’s really exciting to look out your window and see the growth of the football program and see the vision taking form.”
• U.S. Bank Stadium is one of two American sports facilities to be nominated for Stadium of the Year for 2016 by the website StadiumDB.com. The other is Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, which originally opened in 1987 as Joe Robbie Stadium and underwent a significant renovation last season.
• The Gophers baseball team is in the midst of 13 consecutive games at U.S. Bank Stadium, and coach John Anderson talked about how the field has played in the new Vikings home’s first go-round as a baseball facility. “It has played great, no complaints,” he said. “Had to make an adjustment on the mounds, which we have, and that got corrected and so far so good. I don’t see any issues with the field at all, and the people at U.S. Bank Stadium have been awesome trying to work with us and do whatever they can to make sure we have a great playing surface and they have a great facility to play in.”
• Pro Football Focus released a list of the most improved second-year players in the NFL for 2016, and at No. 6 was Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks. “Kendricks’ strong sophomore season was centered on his much-improved pass-coverage skills, which was his strength as a prospect coming out of UCLA,” the website wrote.
• While former Twins first baseman Justin Morneau waits to find out if he will get a MLB contract this season, he will be one of the stars of Team Canada at the World Baseball Classic, which starts this week. Also on the Canadian roster is Andrew Albers, who pitched for the Twins last season.