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

An artist's rendering of the new on-campus football stadium, scheduled to be completed in fall 2009.

U announces architects for football stadium

By Rick Moore

June 8, 2006; updated June 22

University officials announced on June 8 that they have chosen the firm HOK Sport to design a new football stadium on the Twin Cities campus. HOK Sport, based in Kansas City, Mo., will work with the local firm Architectural Alliance on the project. The announcement was made during the Board of Regents' monthly meeting at the McNamara Alumni Center.

HOK Sport has designed some of the most highly-touted and attractive sports facilities in the nation, including Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, and the new Arizona Cardinals stadium in Phoenix. The firm has also worked on dozens of college football stadiums, including those at Penn State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, the University of Florida, and the University of Oklahoma.

"We believe HOK is an ideal firm to help create a facility that renews our Big Ten football traditions and meshes with the campus and our neighborhoods," said University of Minnesota president Bob Bruininks. "We're excited to have them on board to help build the first new stadium in our conference in nearly 50 years."

Bruininks told regents that he recalled first discussing a potential on-campus stadium with them back in the fall of 2002 at a meeting on the Crookston campus. "This is a very exciting moment," he said. "The dream has now become a reality thanks to the action of the Minnesota Legislature and the governor."

Kathleen O'Brien, vice president of University Services, also announced that the project manager for the stadium will be Hines Interests, which has worked on hundreds of properties worldwide and a number of high-profile local projects.

According to the 2003 Feasibility Study, TCF Bank Stadium will be a horseshoe-shaped facility built with about 50,000 seats in a mixture of chair-back seats and benches. It would also have the capacity to expand to 80,000 seats with the addition of a second deck, O'Brien said.

There are funding commitments for more than 80 percent of the stadium's cost of $248.7 million, said Richard Pfutzenreuter, the University's chief financial officer. The state will be covering approximately 55 percent of the cost ($137.2 million), with the rest coming from a combination of student fees, game-day parking, gifts from alumni and other friends of the University, Best Buy Corp., and a $35 million naming-rights agreement with TCF.

O'Brien said that while a ceremonial groundbreaking is likely to occur as soon as this summer, the actual construction won't commence until June or July of 2007 and will take about 25 months to complete. The stadium is expected to be ready in time for the start of the 2009 football season.