Friday, January 20, 2006

The University of Minnesota Stadium-part 2

My first post in support of an on-campus stadium for the Gophers came after the Gophers’ astounding victory over Michigan. This post has to do with the naming rights. In the Minnesota Daily, there is an article about how University Officials and state veterans organizations are collaborating to find ways of honoring all state vets in the new stadium. To see the article, follow this link:

As most of Minnesota knows, TCF bank bought the naming rights to the new stadium with a donation of $35 Million in 2004. The contract is set to expire sometime in February but will likely be renegotiated due to the fact that the Legislative session will be beginning in March. It is my hope that with this post that I can try to convince my readers who are students at the University of Minnesota and residents of the Twin Cities to urge state legislators to do the right thing and buy out TCF’s bid for naming rights and name the stadium what it should be…Memorial Stadium. Or better yet, name it after the only Minnesotan to win the Heisman Trophy, Bruce Smith whose trophy was recently auctioned to an athletic collector.

Minnesota and the University could honor all the veterans from all the wars in Minnesota History from the civil war all the way up to the current War on Terror and the War on Iraq. if we sell it like this, we may get some Republicans to help find some more money so that this stadium can have the proper title and honor Minnesota Veterans instead of TCF owning more and more of the University and student's souls through bank accounts in their U-cards!!!!

The problem is that the legislature doesn’t have the resources or the guts to do what needs to be done. In addition, there are no Alumni of the University that has come forward, at least none that have been published, that could top TCF’s bid. Then again, some fans would argue, “What’s in a name?” or “It doesn’t matter what the name of your stadium is as long as it’s a quality facility?” These claims I disagree with completely. All Big ten colleges, excluding the University of Minnesota, have Memorial Stadiums or stadiums that were built a long time ago and have become famous landmarks of their campus. I am not saying that a stadium makes you have a wining program, but it certainly helps. Look at schools like Michigan and its stadium the “Big House” and Wisconsin’s Camp Randall. If the Gophers get their on-campus stadium, it will help bring more fans (which equals more revenue), more talent, and potentially better bowl games, the possibilities are endless. Who knows, we may even be able to further revitalize Stadium Village in the form of new on-campus housing similar to University Village, new commercial development like restaurants and bars, but most importantly it will create a sense of community for loyal fans of alumni as the home of the Gophers and not the home of the Vikings that we now currently reside.

Speaking of the Vikings and Twins, it will be interesting to see what happens if they too get their stadium wishes. The Twins are probably the most likely after the Gophers, because their stadium will be included with the Minneapolis Multimodal station for the Northstar Commuter Rail and the Hiawatha LRT line. The Vikings may find themselves in an empty stadium that would be all their own and not have to share. However, if the Vikings do leave, then Minneapolis will have a great opportunity to put something great in the resulting open block with access right on the Hiawatha Line. If things come to that though, let’s not hope they screw it up and put something god awful like Cedar Riverside. And by that last comment I do not mean that Cedar Riverside does not come with its benefits of providing affordable housing for many of Minneapolis’s residents, it’s just that it could have been more architecturally pleasing if it had been built at a different time. But that is an issue for an Urban Studies essay and not a blog.

Thanks for reading and feel free to drop any comments, I’ll be sure to read them.


Rah Rah Rah for Ski-U-Mah
Minnesota, Minnesota, Yeah Gophers!!!

I just remembered that if I go to Norway in the fall, I am going to miss Gopher Football…
Oh well, guess I’ll just have to chat with the fam about it and watch lots of ESPN.

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