The TCF Bank Stadium is the current football stadium for the Minnesota Golden gophers college football team located east of downtown Minneapolis. By enrollment, the University of Minnesota is the fourth largest college campus in the U.S. The 50,200 seat on-campus "horseshoe" style stadium is under construction and planned to be built in time for the 2009 football season.
TCF Bank Stadium broke ground on September 30, 2006. The push for a new on-campus stadium for the Minnesota Golden Gophers began in the fall of 2000. A plan for the joint Minnesota Vikings/U of M football stadium was proposed in 2002, but differences over how the stadium would be designed and run, as well as state budget constraints, led to the plan's failure. In September 2003, a highly publicized attempt was made by T. Denny Sanford to be the lead donor for the project, but in early 2004, the plan fell through when the two parties were unable to come to any agreement on the financial terms. Finally on March 24, 2005, the U of M and TCF Bank announced a deal that would have the bank contribute $35 million towards the project which would give them naming rights. The deal was given an expiration date of December 31, 2005; time enough for the Minnesota Legislature to provide the bulk of funding needed to make the project reality. Even though the U of M proposal drew widespread legislative support, the stadium effort suffered a set back when the 2005 legislative session ended before the stadium bill could be heard. Late in 2005 when it became evident that this would happen, the U of M and TCF Bank announced that it had extended the naming rights deal to June 30, 2006. On April 6, 2006, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed the TCF Bank Stadium bill on a 103-30 vote. However on May 9, 2006, the Minnesota Senate passed a radically different version of the bill on a 34-32 vote. Governor Tim Pawlenty stated he supported the House of Representatives version of the bill. Even though the differences between the House and Senate bills were major, the details were ironed out and approved on May 19, 2006 in a House-Senate conference committee. The compromised bill was then approved by both the full House and Senate on May 20, 2006, and was signed by Governor Tim Pawlenty on May 24, 2006. Sketches for the regents were available in December 2006 and, pending approval by the Minnesota Legislature, as of June 2007, biosciences was scheduled for completion in Fall 2009.
TCF Bank Stadium's cost total $288.5 million of which the U of M paid 52% and the state of Minnesota, the remaining 48%.
TCF Bank Stadium has a "horseshoe" style stadium which organizers say have a "traditional collegiate look and feel." The first stadium has approximately 50,200 seats, with the design able to support future expansion to 80,000 seats. There is 39 suites, 59 loge boxes and 300 indoor club seats. On December 7, 2006, the U of M announced that TCF Bank Stadium's field will be laid out in an east-west configuration, with the open end of the stadium facing the campus. This layout provides a view of downtown Minneapolis. TCF Bank Stadium also incorporates a tribute to the university's veterans, similar to that of Memorial Stadium.
Be sure to check out TCF Bank Stadium tickets and watch a Gophers football game!