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

Stadium agreement with TCF has extra perks

Deal would provide additional $2.5 million annually to benefit U

By Rick Moore

Published on April 7, 2005

With any financial deal, it's important to know all the facts. In the case of the agreement reached on March 24 between the University and TCF Financial Corporation--through which TCF will contribute $35 million to a new on-campus football stadium--there are additional, important benefits that will come to the U, and its students, in the future. The most publicized aspect of the agreement, the $35 million contribution from TCF over 25 years toward the construction of the stadium, is a huge boon for the University. It will go a long way toward the total stadium cost of $235 million, and it gives momentum to a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that would require the state to fund 40 percent of the cost of the stadium and the University to finance 60 percent through fund-raising and other revenues.

Stadium legislation progresses

Legislation that would help fund a new Gopher football stadium is making progress in the legislature. Companion bills authored by Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, and Rep. Ron Abrams, R-Minnetonka, have been introduced. They call for the University to fund 60 percent of the stadium's $235 million cost and for the state to fund the remaining 40 percent by paying $7 million annually for 25 years for debt service on bonds for the stadium. The University's portion of the funding will be raised through corporate sponsorships, private donations, student fees, parking and other game-day revenues.

On April 4, the House Higher Education Finance Committee unanimously approved the bill on a voice vote. The companion to this bill is also making progress in the Senate.

The bill would need to pass this session in order for the U to stay on track for a fall 2008 stadium opening. The terms of the $35 million corporate sponsorship to name the stadium TCF Bank Stadium are also contingent upon passage of the legislation.

For the $35 million, TCF gets naming rights; the stadium would be called TCF Bank Stadium. But in addition, the other business agreements, conservatively estimated, could bring another $43 million over the life of the agreements--or $2.5 million annually--which would be used primarily to benefit students. "This agreement provides benefits to the University that extend far beyond football," says President Bob Bruininks. "The sponsorship package has the potential to produce substantial revenue for the University's academic priorities and our students over the life of the agreements." In addition to the naming-rights sponsorship, here are the other areas in which the agreement with TCF would yield benefits for the University aside from the stadium:

Fund-raising cochairs named

University alumni John and Nancy Lindahl have given the U another boost in its efforts to build a new Gopher football stadium by agreeing to cochair the stadium fund-raising campaign.

The Lindahls, longtime University supporters, are also making a significant gift commitment for the stadium. For more information, see cochairs.

Together with its existing business arrangements with TCF, which total $18 million, the University's expanded relationship with the bank could produce more than $96 million in revenue for the U's academic and athletic priorities over the life of the agreements. "This is a great example of how the stadium is attracting new sources of revenue that would not otherwise come to the University," says Athletics Director Joel Maturi. "We are on our way to getting a much needed campus stadium, TCF receives a highly visible and popular way to show its support for the University, and Gopher fans once again will have the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of a Big Ten game-day experience on campus."

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