TCF Bank Stadium
|TCF Bank Stadium|
|"The Bank" or "The Gopher Hole"|
Homeside of stadium in October 2011
|Location||420 SE 23rd Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55455
|Broke ground||September 30, 2006|
|Opened||September 12, 2009|
|Owner||University of Minnesota|
|Operator||University of Minnesota|
($334 million in 2014 dollars)
|Architect||Populous (formerly HOK Sport)
|Structural engineer||Magnusson Klemencic Associates|
|Services engineer||R.G. Vanderweil Engineers, LLP|
|General contractor||M.A. Mortenson Company|
|Minnesota Golden Gophers (NCAA) (2009–present)
Minnesota Vikings (NFL) (2010, 2014–2015)
TCF Bank Stadium, sometimes referred to as either "The Bank" or "The Gopher Hole", is a outdoor stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Opened in 2009, it is the home field of the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the Big Ten Conference. The stadium will be the temporary home of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League for the 2014 and 2015 seasons while their new stadium is being built. The 50,805-seat "horseshoe" style stadium is designed to support future expansion to seat up to 80,000 and it cost $303.3 million to build.
The venue is the newest BCS stadium in the country, as well as the first new Big Ten football stadium constructed since 1960. TCF Bank Stadium also boasts the largest home locker room in college or professional football and one of the largest video boards in the nation. Super Bowl winning coach and former quarterback for the Golden Gophers Tony Dungy called the stadium "unbelievable" and Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter said that the on-campus facility "will give the University of Minnesota a chance to compete not only in the Big Ten but nationally for some of the best athletes." 
- 1 History
- 2 Location
- 3 Design
- 4 Stadium proposal
- 5 Legislative approval 2006
- 6 Funding
- 7 Construction
- 8 Alcohol controversy
- 9 Gopher football attendance
- 10 Other uses
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes and references
- 13 External links
The stadium is the third on-campus stadium and fourth stadium used for UM football. Previous venues have been Northrop Field, Memorial Stadium, and Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. It is the first of three spectator sports stadiums that either have been built or are being developed for the major tenants of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome – the Gophers and two professional teams, the Minnesota Twins baseball and Minnesota Vikings football teams. The Gopher football program played its first game there on September 12, 2009 against the Falcons of the United States Air Force Academy, prevailing 20-13. This was the first football game played on-campus since November 21, 1981, the last game in Memorial Stadium. The highest-ranked AP Top 25 team to visit is #8 California in 2009, only the second game played in the stadium. Iowa is 1-2 against Minnesota in rivalry games played at "The Gopher Hole",and one of only two ranked opponents that the Gophers have defeated in the new facility (#24 Iowa in 2010 and #21 Nebraska in 2013).
The stadium is located on the northeast side of the Minneapolis campus, near the site of the former Memorial Stadium, across from Williams Arena. The site was previously the Huron Boulevard Parking Complex, where the university's four largest parking lots were located. The address is 2009 University Ave S.E.
The stadium is part of a 75-acre (30 ha) expansion of the Twin Cities campus, the largest since the West Bank was built in the 1960s. Current plans for the area call for the construction of as many as ten new academic buildings by 2015. The under-construction METRO Green Line light rail is will run near the stadium, with a station in Stadium Village serving the facility. Construction of the Green Line began in 2010 and is to be completed by 2014.
An environmental impact assessment of the stadium site was conducted by the university between December 2004 and March 2006 at a cost of $1.5 million. The results were approved by the Board of Regents on March 27, 2006.
The METRO Green Line will serve the stadium from the nearby Stadium Village stop. The three major Twin Cities stadiums are located along this line, within a radius of 1.25 miles (2.01 km) loosely centered at the Guthrie Theater on the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.
The stadium is a horseshoe-style stadium which organizers said would have a "traditional collegiate look and feel". On December 7, 2006, the university announced that the stadium's field would be laid out in an unorthodox east-west configuration, with the open west end of the stadium facing campus. This layout, similar to that of Memorial Stadium, provides a view of downtown Minneapolis.
On September 17, 2009, the University of Minnesota announced that the stadium was awarded LEED Silver Certification, the first college or professional football stadium to achieve LEED certification.
General features and football facilities
The centerpiece of the stadium is the massive scoreboard, designed and built by Daktronics at a cost of $9 million. At 48 by 108 feet (14.6 m × 32.9 m), the HD-X light-emitting diode (LED) video scoreboard is currently the ninth largest (by area) in college football-only stadiums, and was the third largest at the time of construction.
Located on the stadium ground level is the Murray Warmath Locker Room, named in honor of the Gophers' national championship winning coach from 1954 to 1971. It is the largest home locker room in college or professional football, and features a block “M” lighting fixture and 120 custom-built cherry-wood lockers. Adjacent to the Murray Warmath Locker Room are other team areas including a fully equipped training room, therapy room, medical exam rooms, an equipment room, custom coaches’ offices and locker rooms, a home media room, private recruiting room, and a training table for dining and nutrition. After a tour of the complex, Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald remarked that, "This has got to be the best locker room in the Big Ten."
To recognize that the venue is a statewide facility and to pay tribute to the support of all Minnesota citizens, the names of the state's 87 counties are cast in stone around the perimeter of the first level. Each is engraved in a piece of cast stone that is 16 by 5.3 feet (4.9 m × 1.6 m) and weighs 6,500 pounds (2,900 kg). These panels are contained within the reminiscent Memorial Wall, which forms the external surface of the stadium building. This brick façade perimeter wall with arched portals reflects the heritage of Memorial Stadium's exterior, and a 360-degree colonnade provides a year-round walkway around the stadium. Displayed on the façade of the stadium's upper deck are panels commemorating the 7 national championships and 18 Big Ten Conference championships won by Minnesota in football, as well as ones distinguishing the five players whose numbers have been retired by the program.
The Minnesota Tribal Nations Plaza encompasses the main western entrance to the stadium and is named in honor of the 11 American Indian nations in Minnesota, featuring eleven 18-foot (5.5 m)-tall sky markers: one for each nation. The stadium also incorporates the Veterans Tribute, a memorial dedicated to Minnesota veterans, located in the open end of the horseshoe near the main plaza.
Seating and amenities
The first phase of the construction includes approximately 50,805 seats, with the design able to support future expansion of up to 80,000 seats. The 10,000-seat student section is located in the eastern end of the stadium, and the area reserved for the U of M marching band is partitioned from it, situated directly behind the eastern end zone and framed by a backdrop labeled Pride of Minnesota. There are approximately 20,000 seats with permanent chairbacks in the stadium, located between the goal lines in both the upper and lower decks, but all remaining locations have aluminum bench seating with no backs. The stadium also features 1,000 handicap accessible and companion seats, and accessible seating is located throughout the stadium, including in the first row of the first level, the last row of the first level, and the last row of the second level. Premium seating includes 37 private suites, 250 indoor club seats, 1,250 outdoor club seats, and 50 loge boxes, along with access to the exclusive 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) climate-controlled DQ Club Room, which offers luxurious amenities to premium-seat ticket holders.
Located in the southwest corner of the stadium is Goldy's Locker Room, the team store, which spans two floors. The T. Denny Sanford Athletics Hall of Fame was opened in fall of 2010, positioned in the southwest end of the stadium next to Goldy's Locker Room. The more than 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) Hall of Fame is not football specific, rather encompassing all 25 of the University of Minnesota's athletic programs through dramatic imagery, artifacts, and interactive kiosks. Visitors to the Hall of Fame hear a soundscape with some of the great radio calls from Minnesota's play-by-play voices. The space also honors the members of the 'M' Club Hall of Fame with a wall complete with plaques for each inductee. The Hall of Fame housed the Floyd of Rosedale trophy after a win over Iowa in 2010.
The media area is a three-level press box with 10 network TV camera positions and seating for 160 members of the media.
The stadium was designed to be capable of supporting future seating expansion to 80,000. The 30,000 seats would be added above the second deck of the stadium from the end of the press boxes across to the northwest end of the venue, wrapping around the remainder of the horseshoe. The auxiliary video display currently adjacent to the easternmost section of the media areas would likely be relocated to atop the new third deck. The University of Minnesota could add all 30,000 seats in a single addition or in increments of 10,000 seats, meeting demand as it is needed (although the duplicated costs of such a plan make it unlikely). If expansion is ever undertaken, it can be completed in about 9 months so that there would be minimal interruption of a football season.
The push for a new on-campus stadium for Golden Gopher football began in the fall of 2000. The university cited poor revenue and lack of a college football atmosphere at the off-campus Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome as their main reasons for wanting to move back on campus. A plan for a joint Minnesota Vikings/University of Minnesota football stadium was proposed in 2002, but differences over how the stadium would be designed and managed, as well as state budget constraints, led to the plan's failure. In September 2003 a highly publicized attempt was made by T. Denny Sanford to be the lead donor for the project, but in early 2004 the plan fell through when the two parties were unable to come to an agreement on the financial terms. The university unveiled preliminary stadium drawings and a general plan to seek state money and donations in December 2003. On March 24, 2005, the university and TCF Bank announced a deal that would have the bank contribute $35 million towards the project which would give them naming rights. The deal was given an expiration date of December 31, 2005; time enough for the Minnesota Legislature to provide the bulk of funding needed to make the project a reality.
During the remainder of 2005 the university concentrated on drafting a stadium proposal that would draw the support of state politicians. The final plan proposed that the state of Minnesota would contribute 40% of the stadium cost while the university would raise the remaining 60% on its own. Portions of that 60% were to be funded by the TCF naming rights, while the remainder would come from a $50 per semester student fee, private donations, the sale of 2,840 acres (11.5 km²) of university land in rural Dakota County back to the state, and game day parking revenue. Even though the university proposal drew widespread legislative support, the stadium effort suffered a setback when the 2005 legislative session ended before the stadium bill could be heard. Late in 2005 when it became evident that this would happen, the university and TCF Bank announced that it had extended the naming rights deal to June 30, 2006.
Despite the 2005 session having ended with the bill not coming to a vote, the stadium effort did not lose momentum in the legislature and was introduced quickly in the 2006 session. On April 6, 2006, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed the stadium bill on a 103–30 vote. The house bill was nearly identical to what the university was proposing and had full university support. However on May 9, 2006, the Minnesota Senate passed a radically different version of the bill on a 34–32 vote. The Senate version would have removed the TCF naming rights deal, the student fees, and the purchase of the university owned land. The proposed funding that was removed was to be replaced with a state wide tax on sports memorabilia. It also would have required the stadium to be named Veterans Memorial Stadium (similar to the previous on-campus football stadium Memorial Stadium, which was last used in 1981 and demolished in 1992). Governor Tim Pawlenty stated he supported the House version. He signed the bill in May 2006 at the University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center.
Legislative approval 2006
Even though the differences between the House and Senate bills were major, the details were ironed out and approved on May 19, in a House–Senate conference committee. The naming rights and land sale remained in the bill, as did a scaled down $25 per year student fee. The tax on sports memorabilia as well as the Veterans Memorial Stadium name were voted out. The committee also voted to increase the state contribution to the project to compensate for the smaller student fees. The compromise bill was then approved by both the full house and senate on May 20, and was signed by Governor Tim Pawlenty on May 24.
The stadium's cost totals $288.5 million, of which the university will pay 52 percent and the state of Minnesota the remaining 48 percent. Including interest the state's cost is about $10 million per year or about $1.7 million per game for 25 years. About $50 million of the state's portion goes to the purchase of 2,840 acres (11.5 km²) of undeveloped university land, part of the Rosemount Research Center in Dakota County, over 25 years by the state of Minnesota who will assume responsibility for risks if the site requires environmental cleanup. The university retains its right to use the land for its "research, education and engagement mission" in perpetuity.
The university's share is $111 million or 52 percent. TCF Financial Corporation of Wayzata, Minnesota is contributing $35 million over 25 years in exchange for the TCF Bank naming rights and other agreements. The university projected earnings of $2.5 million per year or $96 million over the life of agreements with TCF that will include marketing debit cards to alumni and ticketholders. If unable to fulfill its contractual obligations, TCF Financial Corporation must propose an alternate name subject to the approval of the university. Other corporate donations have been pledged as well, including Best Buy ($3 million), Dairy Queen ($2.5 million), Target Corporation ($2 million), Federated Insurance, General Mills, and Norwest Equity Partners.
The university is also accepting donations from individuals. Initially donations were only being sought from "high-end" donors (those contributing $100,000 or more), but in June 2008 the university expanded the fundraising effort to gather smaller donations as well. On May 21, 2009, the University announced they had received a $6 million donation from T. Denny Sanford, meaning the university had achieved its goal of $86 million in private fund raising. The remainder of the university's portion will come from a $12.50 per semester student fee ($25 per year) and game day parking revenue.
Even though the cost of building TCF Bank Stadium originated at $248.7 million, changes in the construction planning raised the cost to $288.5 million. The university has vowed that even if the stadium cost rises again, it will not seek more money from the state nor increase the student fees any further.
The University has been charging all U of M students a mandatory stadium fee of $12.50 every semester since planning for the project began, and is continuing this fee despite the stadium being finished. The cost of the stadium was $288.5 million of which the university had to pay 52 percent, and with an average of more than 50,000 students in a given year, in one semester the university makes more than $625,000 from the stadium fee, meaning they receive more than $6.25 million every 5 years from students.
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux donations
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) agreed to donate $10 million for stadium construction, the largest gift Gopher athletics has ever received. The university matched an additional $2.5 million to create a $5 million endowment for scholarships for Native American and low-income students. The hospitality plaza on the stadium's west side and the scholarship were named to honor the community, and the plaza designed to "... celebrate the history, presence, and cultural contributions of all eleven Native American tribes in Minnesota". The University received an additional $2 million from the SMSC for construction of the plaza in 2009.
On June 8, 2006, the university announced that it had selected Populous (then known as HOK Sport Venue Event) to design The stadium. HOK Architects was one of the three finalists, along with HNTB Architects and Crawford Architects, that made presentations to the university on May 24, 2006. The local firm that worked on the project was Minneapolis-based Architectural Alliance, and M.A. Mortenson Company was the general contractor. Schematic designs of the stadium were presented to the public on January 3, 2007.
Infrastructure work at the stadium site began in late June 2006, and a ceremonial groundbreaking took place at the stadium site on September 30, 2006. The beginning of construction on the stadium itself along with the unveiling of the stadium's logo took place on July 11, 2007. Site preparation and foundation work continued through the summer and fall of 2007. More than 8,800 tons of steel that make up the stadium's skeleton was put in place between January 28, 2007 – June 28, 2008.
University president Robert Bruininks originally planned to have the school apply for a state liquor license in order to serve beer and wine in limited areas of the stadium. Under his proposal, alcohol would have been available only to occupants of premium season ticket seats ranging in price from $1,800 to $45,000 a year. This is/was consistent with the University's long-held alcohol policy at other on-campus athletic venues, such as Williams Arena and Mariucci Arena. This is also consistent with other NCAA institutions (including all other Big Ten Conference teams except for the University of Michigan) with on campus stadiums. No Big Ten stadiums serve alcohol in their general seating.
In May 2009, the state legislature passed a law that states that no alcohol may be served or sold anywhere in the stadium, including in suites and premium boxes, unless all ticketholders 21 or older in the stadium can buy alcohol at a game. The University of Minnesota regents voted on June 24, 2009, on Bruininks' subsequent proposal to ban alcohol entirely at campus athletic events (and also ban it in Mariucci and Williams arenas), which passed 10–2.
In May 2010, the legislature passed a law saying that alcohol could be served in premium seating if it was also available in one-third of the general seats. Bruininks declined to ask the board of regents to make this compromise. Dan Wolter, a spokesman for the university, said, "We recognize and understand that underage drinking is a big problem in our society as a whole so that is a stand that the University wanted to take."
On July 11, 2012, the university regents voted to allow beer sales at the stadium starting in the fall of 2012.
Gopher football attendance
|2009||355,635||7||50,805||All sellouts (50,805)|
|2010||346,593||7||49,913||Iowa (rivalry) (50,805)|
|2011||333,996||7||47,714||Miami (OH) (49,950)|
The stadium replaced Northrop Auditorium as the home of the university's marching band, providing it with new storage, rehearsal, and locker facilities. During construction, the university also expected to use the stadium for intramural sports, career fairs, and graduation ceremonies. University officials have also suggested that the stadium could be used to host outdoor hockey games, such as the annual NHL Winter Classic. It hosted the 2014 Hockey City Classic on January 17, an outdoor event featuring the Gophers' men's and women's teams.
In November 2009, it was announced that the U2 360° Tour would be the first concert performance in the stadium on June 27, 2010. However, a majority of the 2010 U2 concert tour was postponed after U2 frontman Bono underwent emergency back surgery, and was been rescheduled for July 23, 2011 after having been pushed back an additional week by the 2011 Drum Corps International Minnesota event. Other non-university uses for the stadium have been discussed as well. Minnesota State High School League state tournaments, concerts, and marching band competitions have all been considered. The stadium is currently home to the Drum Corps International Minnesota event, taking place in mid July each year since 2010. TCF Bank Stadium was evaluated as a potential venue for a bid by the United States to host the 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup. In addition, TCF Bank Stadium was planned as a preliminary soccer venue in the Chicago bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Due to a collapse of the Metrodome's roof, the Minnesota Vikings' Monday Night Football game against the Chicago Bears was held at the stadium on December 20, 2010, which was the Vikings' first outdoor home game since exactly 29 years before when Metropolitan Stadium was closed. The game ended with the Bears defeating the Vikings, 40-14. With the win, the Bears won the NFC North title and Devin Hester broke the kickoff return for touchdown record. This was Brett Favre's last game in the NFL after he sustained a concussion from being hit by Corey Wootton.
The Vikings will play the 2014 and 2015 NFL seasons at the stadium during construction of the New Minnesota Stadium, which will require the demolition of the Metrodome. The Vikings will reportedly pay $2 million for upkeep costs for those seasons. The Vikings will also spend $4.5 million to upgrade the facilities to NFL standards, mainly to include heating coils under the turf.
The stadium has been host to the DCI Minnesota Drum & Bugle Corps competition sponsored by Drum Corps International and hosted by Minnesota Brass. The first competition, held on July 18, 2010, was cancelled during the show due to the touchdown of a nearby tornado. In 2011 the competition was won by the Cavaliers, and in 2012 was won by the Blue Devils.
- Northrop Field
- Memorial Stadium
- Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
- List of NCAA Division I FBS football stadiums
- Target Field
- Vikings Stadium
Notes and references
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