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Old 07-14-2007, 02:10 PM   #1
buckeyefan78
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Default Minnesota breaks ground on stadium...

U stadium vision takes tangible shape

By Chip Scoggins, Star Tribune

Gophers football coach Tim Brewster drives by the future site of TCF Bank Stadium every day on his way to the office. Most days he looks to see if there are any new developments, but on Wednesday he had a hand in a major construction milestone.

The first-year coach oversaw a ceremonial dig of dirt by a backhoe as part of an event that featured the unveiling of the TCF Bank Stadium logo.

University officials joined executives from TCF Bank and M.A. Mortenson Company for a media tour of the site as the construction phase officially began for the on-campus stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2009.

"It's really going to happen," athletic director Joel Maturi said. "Not that we ever doubted it. But it's certainly a statement that what we've been dreaming about is going to become a reality."

Gophers officials are still trying to find an opponent for the Sept. 12 opener in 2009, but Wednesday's groundbreaking ceremony represented another significant step in the construction of the $288.5 million facility.

The construction site features a lined football field in its exact location in the stadium. Brewster even pointed to an imaginary tunnel where the players will run out of before games.

"It sends chills down my back thinking about all the memories of all the people that sat in Memorial Stadium and all the championships that were won and the excitement of the band marching down University Avenue," Brewster said. "It's going to happen again. We've talked about it, but now it's real. It's tangible."

M.A. Mortenson officials provided a construction update for the next year. Most notably, steel structures are scheduled to go up starting in January. Financially, university officials said they have raised $58.5 million in private pledges with $28 million remaining.

"I never doubted it was the right thing to do, and I never doubted it would happen," University President Robert Bruininks said. "It's just hard work. We still have some work to do, but I feel very good about our position. I think we're in very good shape to finish this off and make it a really spectacular addition to the assets of Minnesota."

Brewster said a new on-campus stadium should pay dividends in recruiting, too.

"It's going to be such an important part of what we do recruiting-wise because kids in the state of Minnesota are going to grow up dreaming about playing in one of the finest brand-new on-campus facilities in the country," he said. "Being a part of the first team that plays in TCF Bank Stadium on Sept. 12, 2009. How exciting is that going to be?"

http://www.startribune.com/gophers/story/1297865.html


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Great news for the Gophers. New stadium, new coach, new attitude...no reason why Minnesota can't compete with Wisconsin (of similar culture, population, etc) in the future.
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:03 PM   #2
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I wouldn't go that far. It's still going to be the second smallest stadium in the Big Ten and I don't know if Tim Brewster has what it takes to bring Minnesota up to the level Wisconsin is at right now (borderline elite). Regardless of that the Gophers are taking some big steps to at least becoming a respectable program once again.

The only thing that bugs me about this, and I'm surprised that you didn't mention it in your post, buck, is that the stadium has a corporate name. This ain't the NFL. Corporate names on college stadiums suck.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex View Post
The only thing that bugs me about this, and I'm surprised that you didn't mention it in your post, buck, is that the stadium has a corporate name. This ain't the NFL. Corporate names on college stadiums suck.
It's inevitable nowadays. I hate it but so goes life in the dotcom world.

As for Minnesota's status...aim high Alex...LOL.

Last edited by buckeyefan78; 07-16-2007 at 01:49 PM.
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