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Feature

An artist's rendering of the proposed new Gopher on-campus football stadium

A new stadium would be located on the University's Huron Avenue parking complex, close to existing athletic venues, and have a seating capacity of 50,000.

Stadium sponsorship agreement with TCF extended

December 28, 2005

TCF Financial Corp. and the University of Minnesota announced on December 22 that they have extended the $35 million agreement to name the University's proposed new on-campus football stadium TCF Bank Stadium. The original agreement was set to expire December 31, 2005, and will now be extended to June 30, 2006. The extension was necessary because the Minnesota Legislature has not taken action on a bill to finance the state's portion of the stadium's $249 million cost.

"The university very much appreciates TCF's willingness to extend this agreement and continue their commitment to bringing Gopher football back to campus," said President Robert Bruininks. "Now we need the legislature to do its part. There is broad bipartisan support for this stadium, so there's no reason for not passing the necessary legislation."

"TCF is proud to be a partner with the University of Minnesota in helping make this new stadium a reality, and we're willing to give the legislature six more months to get their part of the job done," said William A. Cooper, TCF Financial Corp. board chairman and chief executive officer. "This stadium means a lot to the University, its students, alumni, and the state. We hope TCF's renewed commitment to the project gives it the momentum we need to get TCF Bank Stadium built."

The U's plan for a 50,000-seat, on-campus stadium includes paying for 60 percent of the cost with nonstate dollars. A substantial portion of that cost is expected to come from private contributions and corporate sponsorships. Forty percent of the cost would be funded by the state. Legislation providing for the state's share had bipartisan support during the 2005 legislative session, but fell victim to the budgetary impasse that led to a special session this summer.

Bruininks said that the lack of legislative action has already delayed the stadium's opening by one year, to 2009, and added significant cost to the project.

"The clock is ticking on this stadium project," Bruininks said. "Every day of delay drives the cost higher. We need the Legislature to take action in early 2006 if this is going to get done."