TCF Bank Stadium

Sid Hartman: If Gophers don't win games, stadium will lose its luster

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 23, 2011 - 4:23 PM

Fans will come when the place is new. But unless the team can succeed on the field, the building won't be enough to draw crowds down the road.

Former Gophers football coach Glen Mason, who played a big part in getting TCF Bank Stadium built, will be at Penn State working for the Big Ten Network when the Gophers open their new building against Air Force on Saturday.

There was not going to be a stadium unless a prime sponsor was secured. It was on a private airplane trip to Columbus, Ohio, to play golf that Mason actually persuaded Twin City Federal Chairman Bill Cooper to buy the naming rights for the stadium. And the local bank put up $35 million to get a lot of concessions on campus in addition to putting its name on the stadium. Mason did a lot of promoting to get the stadium built.

You have to give the most credit for the building of the stadium to University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks. Had he not gotten behind the push, the stadium would have never happened.

No doubt for $288.5 million, the school got one of the great stadiums in the country. Of course, it is the newest in the Big Ten and should be the best. Credit must be given to all those involved in designing the stadium, because they didn't miss a beat.

But believe me, the stadium will be an attraction for its first three or four years, and its 50,805 seats will be sold out for that time.

After that, it will be the same story as old Memorial Stadium, where there were a lot of empty seats when the Gophers didn't win.

The campaign to raise the money was great. The university had to raise $86 million, and it did that. There were 2,259 donors who also raised $859,000 for marching band scholarships and the band's facility within the stadium.

Yes, I was a big promoter of the move from Memorial Stadium to the Metrodome. And Lou Holtz proved that if you entertain the fans, they will come -- and the Dome was sold out most of the two years Holtz was Gophers coach.

Current Gophers coach Tim Brewster believes the new stadium will be a boon to recruiting. Time will tell if that will be true. I do think the stadium will help recruit local football stars. But I believe college recruiters from other schools could again point to bad late-fall weather here to persuade outstate athletes to go elsewhere. Gophers coaches could counteract that when they played in the Dome.

I still believe there should have been one stadium for both the Gophers and the Vikings, like there is in Pittsburgh for the Panthers and Steelers.

And we might lose the Vikings because there wasn't one stadium. Thanks to the Minnesota State Fair board for making sure that one stadium wasn't built on fair property adjacent to the university's farm campus.

But as always, the success of the new stadium will come down to "just win baby." No stadium ever has won a game.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on his Podcast once a week at www.startribune.com/sidcast. shartman@startribune.com

  • about this series

  • The Gophers return to campus with the opening of their new football stadium.

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Minnesota 17 4th Qtr 14:57
Miami 21
Baltimore 7 3rd Qtr 9:15
Houston 16
Detroit 10 4th Qtr 11:09
Chicago 14
Cleveland 6 4th Qtr 12:45
Carolina 10
Atlanta 20 4th Qtr 14:30
New Orleans 7
Green Bay 13 4th Qtr 5:45
Tampa Bay 3
Kansas City 6 4th Qtr 12:00
Pittsburgh 17
New England 17 4th Qtr 9:37
NY Jets 13
NY Giants 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 2:30 PM
Toronto
Memphis 3:30 PM
Cleveland
Boston 5:00 PM
Miami
Detroit 5:00 PM
Brooklyn
LA Lakers 5:00 PM
Sacramento
Philadelphia 5:00 PM
Orlando
Phoenix 5:00 PM
Washington
Indiana 6:00 PM
Minnesota
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Colorado 5:00 PM
Detroit
Dallas 5:00 PM
Edmonton
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Boston
Carolina 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Chicago
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Winnipeg
Harvard 27 FINAL
Virginia 76
Maine 69 1st OT 0:04
Army 70
Ferris State 82 FINAL
Bowling Green 68
San Francisco 65 FINAL
Cleveland State 69
Oregon State 52 FINAL
Quinnipiac 60
Coastal Carolina 72 FINAL
Central Arkansas 55
Holy Cross 32 2nd Half 9:42
Canisius 46
Southern Miss 35 2nd Half 9:28
Georgia State 54
Western Carolina 39 2nd Half 12:29
UNC-Asheville 54
Creighton 29 2nd Half 12:36
North Texas 51
Maryland 51 2nd Half 11:49
Oklahoma State 37
Cornell 41 2nd Half 13:34
Radford 50
Vermont 36 2nd Half 9:40
Saint Louis 38
Loyola-Maryland 39 2nd Half 10:23
Stony Brook 44
Reinhardt 48 2nd Half 13:16
Winthrop 62
Ark-Little Rock 43 2nd Half 7:47
Green Bay 53
TX-Pan American 44 2nd Half 13:40
Nebraska Omaha 53
Alabama State 57 2nd Half 14:55
Evansville 53
FIU 31 2nd Half 20:00
Hartford 42
Goshen 25 2nd Half
Valparaiso 38
Bryant 7 1st Half 10:46
Denver 4
Austin Peay 5 1st Half 10:19
Lipscomb 18
Tennessee St 5 1st Half 12:10
Middle Tennessee 24
South Dakota 15 1st Half 11:43
Montana 14
ULM 2:25 PM
Samford
Coker 2:30 PM
South Carolina
USC 3:00 PM
Boston College
Northern Ariz 3:00 PM
Hampton
SD Christian 3:00 PM
San Diego
UC Irvine 3:30 PM
Bradley
Troy 3:30 PM
Nicholls
Seton Hall 5:00 PM
Georgia
Appalachian St 5:30 PM
Alabama
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Kent State
San Jose St 6:00 PM
Washington St
Alcorn State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Sacramento St 9:00 PM
Seattle
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Cal-Irvine 55 FINAL
Denver 63
St Marys-CA 52 FINAL
George Washington 70
TX-San Antonio 49 FINAL
Nicholls 57
Portland State 71 FINAL
Columbia 66
Tenn Tech 62 FINAL
Morgan State 56
SMU 43 FINAL
Auburn 56
Quinnipiac 70 FINAL
Hartford 58
Hofstra 75 FINAL
Boston College 61
Eastern Washington 55 FINAL
Georgia Southern 42
Liberty 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 84
Fairleigh Dickinson 74 FINAL
Brown 79
Buffalo 73 FINAL
Long Island 79
Bucknell 74 FINAL
Mount St Marys 49
Stony Brook 70 FINAL
Wagner 76
FIU 83 FINAL
Wofford 75
Duquesne 56 FINAL
Providence 67
Maine 54 FINAL
William & Mary 51
Alabama State 43 FINAL
Samford 56
TX-Pan American 43 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 64
South Dakota St 64 FINAL
Marist 82
Saint Josephs 50 FINAL
(5) Notre Dame 64
Radford 60 FINAL
Virginia Tech 73
(3) Texas 60 2nd Half 4:14
(4) Texas A&M 61
Rhode Island 60 2nd Half 0:10
Bryant 56
South Florida 45 2nd Half 15:51
Penn State 43
Sam Houston St 35 2nd Half 11:35
TCU 55
Evansville 36 2nd Half 12:00
IUPUI 44
(14) Maryland 83 2nd Half 10:38
Coppin State 41
Mercer 48 2nd Half 9:49
Coll of Charleston 56
NC A&T 21 2nd Half 15:34
Chattanooga 40
Princeton 69 2nd Half 10:24
Monmouth 38
Eastern Illinois 58 2nd Half 6:14
Lehigh 62
Rider 49 2nd Half 11:15
Binghamton 41
SC State 38 2nd Half 8:36
Clemson 43
Fairfield 44 2nd Half 10:00
Iowa State 55
Richmond 61 2nd Half 7:34
Eastern Kentucky 40
Cleveland State 63 2nd Half 6:25
Morehead St 63
Kent State 49 2nd Half 10:44
Colgate 37
South Alabama 31 2nd Half 6:09
UAB 66
Saint Peters 28 2nd Half 8:18
Navy 61
Youngstown St 37 2nd Half 7:47
Pittsburgh 58
NJIT 30 2nd Half 14:36
Lafayette 43
Davidson 22 2nd Half 11:59
Charlotte 61
Indiana State 28 1st Half 1:51
St Johns 22
Southern U 16 1st Half 1:22
Florida 38
Wright State 16 2nd Half
Purdue 31
(19) Oklahoma St 9 1st Half 11:34
USC 13
Houston 12 1st Half 8:32
Texas Tech 10
Ark-Little Rock 13 1st Half 11:10
Tulsa 8
Dayton 14 1st Half 9:51
Vanderbilt 14
Northern Ariz 9 1st Half 13:20
New Mexico 6
UNC-Asheville 10 1st Half 12:12
USC Upstate 10
North Dakota 12 1st Half 11:40
South Dakota 17
Western Ill 11 1st Half 14:02
Marquette 8
Elon 10 1st Half 15:00
(6) North Carolina 13
Ball State 7 1st Half 11:38
Western Ky 22
(8) Kentucky 8 1st Half 11:06
(13) Duke 17
New Orleans 6 1st Half 11:29
Alabama 21
Chicago State 11 1st Half 9:54
Milwaukee 16
Bowling Green 18 1st Half 11:48
Bradley 7
Ill-Springfield 2 1st Half 18:28
SE Missouri St 2
Northern Ill 6 1st Half 11:30
Northern Iowa 9
(23) Iowa 13 1st Half 13:52
Drake 14
Central Michigan 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Western Carolina 2:30 PM
North Florida
Wyoming 3:00 PM
Colorado
Portland 3:00 PM
Boise State
Cal Poly 3:00 PM
Colorado State
No Dakota State 3:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Albany 3:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Oklahoma 3:00 PM
Arkansas
Idaho State 3:00 PM
Seattle
(18) Michigan State 3:00 PM
(19) Syracuse
Northwestern 3:30 PM
Arizona State
TX-Arlington 3:30 PM
North Texas
Fresno State 4:00 PM
Oregon
St Francis-PA 4:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
UNLV 4:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
UCLA 4:00 PM
(2) Connecticut
(10) Louisville 4:00 PM
(24) California
Howard 5:00 PM
Virginia
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
(21) Miss State
Illinois-Chicago 8:30 PM
Old Dominion

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