>A Gopher Football Stadium?

17 Jul

>Of course, one of the great debates in the Twin Cities today is whether the Gophers should get a new outdoor football stadium. And how does this stadium fit in with the proposed Twins and Vikings stadiums? Which comes first? Who pays for it?

First off, I see no reason at all why the Gophers shouldn’t have their own stadium. Memorial Stadium was leveled before my time at the U, but I grieve anyway when I hear teary-eyed accounts of Gameday in the old Memorial Stadium on campus, with the tailgating and the marching band coming down University Avenue and the weather. As a former marching band member and passionate Gopher alumnus myself, I would LOVE to see this come back to campus.

Who should pay for it? There are obviously several options out there. But one item not getting much discussion: alumni fundraising. I know lots of fellow Gophers that would join me in spending some money so that a stadium could be built. Maybe we each give $100, and we get our name etched into a brick or something. Maybe $1,000 donors get their name on the back of a seat. I don’t care how you do it – the team belongs to the University, the state and the alumni that have suffered through several fall seasons inside the Dome. There are lots of us out there – we don’t always pack the Dome, but then again, sometimes there are reasons for that. And there are several of us that would do our part to help the stadium effort.

I also believe that the Gophers stadium issue is independent of the Twins and Vikings. The University of Minnesota is a public institution – it is owned by all Minnesotans. If there is demand with the masses, as has been the case, then there should be something done about it. I’m not saying the Twins and Vikings can’t get a new stadium, or that I’m not for both of them. I believe they both would be wonderful additions to the community. But why can’t our legislators and University leadership work together to do something that’s so obviously good for the fabric of the school? This to me has no bearing at all on the other stadiums, especially when the infrastructure (land, parking, etc) is already in place.

In short, in the absense of University and corporate funding and leadership, give passionate Gopher fans the opportunity to put their money where their mouths are. Get the leaders involved past the bureaucratic and political red tape, and get it done. The economic impact around campus would be huge – but more importantly, it would be a huge boost to Gopher pride everywhere. Build it and the true fans, the tens of thousands of die-hard maroon and gold bleeders, will come.


One Response to “>A Gopher Football Stadium?”

  1. twinatic 07/18/2005 at 12:06 AM #

    >Hopefully the money from the naming rights bought by TCF Bank will also be a good start on getting a stadium built. I completly agree that we need a stadium. That’s the #1 reason why there’s such a lack of interest in Gopher football…nobody wants to watch it in the ‘Dome! To me, it has never felt like the home field, nor does it have the same atmosphere as an actual college stadium. $$$ is the issue, and hopefully the alumni association can pull their head out of their butts and get something done!

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