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Athletics Director Joel Maturi, William A. Cooper, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of TCF, and President Robert Bruininks, at the stadium corporate sponsorship announcement.

Athletics Director Joel Maturi and President Robert Bruininks present a letter jacket to William A. Cooper, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of TCF.

TCF Financial Corporation gives $35 million for the new, on-campus TCF Bank Stad

Published on March 24, 2005

In a move that is expected to kick-start the campaign to bring Gopher football back to campus, TCF Financial Corporation (TCF) and University of Minnesota officials today announced a $35 million, 25-year corporate sponsorship for a new stadium. The deal provides TCF with exclusive naming rights for the stadium, to be called "TCF Bank Stadium."

"We're thrilled about this agreement," says University president Robert Bruininks. "TCF is a premier Minnesota company, and their support is a very significant step toward bringing Gopher football back to campus."

"TCF and the University of Minnesota are two Minnesota traditions, rich in history, coming together to help make this happen," says William A. Cooper, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of TCF. "Securing the naming rights to TCF Bank Stadium is our way of extending our partnership and continued commitment to the University for years to come."

"As budgets have become tighter, universities across the country have had to become more innovative in funding sports facilities," says athletics director Joel Maturi. "This agreement serves everyone well..."

The stadium adds to a long-running relationship between TCF and the University. Since 1995, TCF has been the exclusive provider of banking services tied to a campus card--called the "U Card"--at the University's Twin Cities and Duluth campuses.

"As budgets have become tighter, universities across the country have had to become more innovative in funding sports facilities," says athletics director Joel Maturi. "This agreement serves everyone well: The Gophers are on their way to getting our much-needed football home, TCF receives a highly visible and popular way to demonstrate its support for the University and Minnesota, and Gopher fans once again will have the wonderful experience of an on-campus football stadium."

Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, and Rep. Ron Abrams, R-Minnetonka, have authored companion bills and introduced them to the legislature in support of the proposed stadium. The legislation calls for the University to fund 60 percent and the state 40 percent of the estimated $235 million cost of the stadium, which would be completed by 2008. The bill has bipartisan support from legislators from all regions of the state.

The University's portion of the funding will be raised through corporate sponsorships, private donations, student fees, parking, and other game-day revenues, says Bruininks.

"This agreement will jump-start our fundraising efforts," he says. "Thanks to this lead sponsorship, momentum is building. And with strong bipartisan backing at the legislature to provide state support, I expect that Minnesotans can look forward to a campus football experience by autumn 2008."

The announcement came at a spirited event in the University's McNamara Alumni Center, where the brick archway into Memorial Stadium, the former home of the Gopher football team, is preserved. The Gophers have been sharing the Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis with the Minnesota Twins and Vikings since 1982. The University began investigating new housing for the Gopher football team more than two years ago for several reasons, says Bruininks.

He notes that the University's lease at the Metrodome expires in 2011 and it will take four or five years to build a replacement. In addition, the Metrodome needs costly rehabilitation. Both the Minnesota Twins and Vikings are looking for new homes, making the aging facility too costly for the University to support as a sole tenant. "Mostly, we want to reestablish the University as a place where students, alumni, faculty, and all Gopher fans can look forward to the true experience of college football where it belongs--at home on campus," Bruininks says.

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