Manchester United’s Home Away From Home

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    Take a tour of the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Manchester United's training facility for Tour 2015.

    It may be thousands of miles away from Carrington, but the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington will play a big role in Manchester United’s preparations for the upcoming Premier League season. Fortunately, the team should feel right at home, having trained at this exact same facility during Tour 2011 in preparation for a match against Seattle Sounders F.C. of Major League Soccer, as seen in the video below:

    The sprawling 19-acre complex, which serves as the practice facility and headquarters for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, opened in the summer of 2008. It takes its name from a strategic naming-rights partnership between the Seahawks and Virginia Mason Medical Center, a top-tier hospital in the Seattle area.

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    Manchester United will be provided with unprecedented access to VMAC, which is anchored by a three-story building that boasts a massive locker room and lounge, weight and training rooms, administrative offices, team meeting rooms, and even a media production studio on site. The complex also houses a massive indoor practice field with a FieldTurf surface and three outdoor natural grass fields.

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    The VMAC locker room.

    The sprawling 19 acre facility sits on the shores of Lake Washington, the second largest natural freshwater lake in the state of Washington. It is just a short 13 mile drive to CenturyLink Field, where Manchester United will take on Club America on Friday, July 17.

    Waterfront dining at the VMAC cafeteria.
    Waterfront dining at the VMAC cafeteria.

    It’s location on the lake shore not only yields some stunning views of the Seattle area, but it also allows VMAC to be accessible by alternative methods of transportation. The complex is easily accessible by car due to its proximity to Interstate 405, but the Seahawks also built docks on the lake shore for staff and personnel to arrive by boat. They have even been known to use seaplanes to fly in free agent players for tours of the facility.

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    Jimmy Graham of the Seattle Seahawks was recently certified to fly seaplanes.

    Judging by some of the scenes from Monday, the lads already look right at home.

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    Wil oversees the day-to-day operation of UNITED in the States and refines its tone of voice by coordinating and curating content submissions from regular and guest contributors. A Manchester United supporter for the past 26 years, one of the happiest days of his life was his visit to Old Trafford in October 2011. Wil is a proud member of the Manchester United Fans of Los Angeles.

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