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Gophers expect about 44,000 fans for Oregon State game

TCF Bank Stadium was brimming with 54,147 fans for the Gophers' season opener against No. 2 TCU last year. Athletics department officials expect closer to 44,000 for this year's Sept. 1 opener against Oregon State.

That would be similar to what the Gophers drew when they opened with Thursday night games against UNLV (in 2013) and Eastern Illinois (2014).

As Patrick Reusse wrote recently, Sept. 1 presents a bounty of local entertainment options -- Vikings vs. Rams (U.S. Bank Stadium), Twins vs. White Sox (Target Field), Saints vs. Winnipeg (CHS Field). There's also the State Fair, and the high school football opener.

But it's Welcome Week at the university, and the Gophers give free tickets to first-year students, which always helps attendance for the home opener.

On Wednesday, the university announced some security updates and reminded fans to allow extra time when entering TCF Bank Stadium. From the press release:

The most significant change fans will notice ... will be the use of hand-held metal detector to screen everyone entering the facility. This is a best practice at all large sporting venues in the Twin Cities that have established policies to either screen entrants with hand-held equipment or ask individuals to walk through magnetometers on their way into facilities.

This practice was used for all Minnesota Vikings games played at TCF Bank Stadium the past two seasons, as well as the NHL Stadium Series game last winter and major concerts held at the venue. 

In addition to this new policy, the University also reminds fans of its bag policy, which went into effect during the 2015 season. The bag policy is the same as that used in all 32 NFL stadiums around the country and hasn’t changed since last season. Fans will be allowed to enter with clear tote bags (up to 12 inches by six inches by 12 inches) or one-gallon, re-sealable plastic bags. Small, clutch-style purses, up to 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches, will still be allowed as well. 

A PDF that helps visualize which bags are and are not allowed in the stadium in accordance with this policy is available on GopherSports.com. Fans who wish to purchase an approved-size, clear bag can find them at Goldy’s Locker Room outside of Gate E near the Minnesota Tribal Nations Plaza.

Like last year, fans can take advantage of a complimentary bag check available inside the University Avenue entrance of Williams Arena. Bag check opens 2.5 hours prior to kickoff and remains open until one hour after the game ends.

Claeys 'torn' about Gophers' backup QB; Tyler Johnson won't redshirt

Gophers football coach Tracy Claeys said at Monday's news conference that the staff was still finalizing the depth chart for the Oregon State game. The plan was to let the players know their roles ahead of Tuesday's practice.

The backup quarterback spot, however, will remain an open competition between Demry Croft, Conor Rhoda and Seth Green. Claeys said he's 'torn,' adding that starting QB Mitch Leidner is "ahead of everybody else."

This backup QB competition could linger for a while, though the coaches know they have to decide who it'll be for the Oregon State game, in case Leidner gets injured.

As for running back, Claeys didn't rule out Shannon Brooks' availability for Week 1. But the guess here is that the staff will be careful not to rush Books back from his foot injury.

Claeys also said WR Tyler Johnson will "definitely be a part of what we're doing this fall."

Claeys said Johnson has "done a tremendous job. I mean, for a true freshman, it's unbelievable. Just because you're talking about a kid who played every sport in high school --  including baseball, AAU basketball -- hadn't had much time in the weight room.

"If we wouldn't bring in freshmen in June, he probably wouldn't have a chance because of the strength thing. But he's added some strength, and he's gained some weight. I do think that the AAU basketball has given him a mentality of competing against older kids. So it didn't faze him to get out there and go against older kids. Tremendous hands, and he can jump and come up with the ball."

TV Listings

Local Schedule

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  • Wichita at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Detroit at Twins

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Detroit at Twins

    12:10 pm on MLBN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Lynx at Connecticut

    6 pm on 106.1-FM

  • Twins at Toronto

    6:07 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Saints at Lincoln

    6:35 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at Toronto

    12:07 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6 pm

  • Saints at Lincoln

    6:35 pm on 1220-AM

  • Minnesota United FC at Miami FC

    7 pm on Ch. 29

  • San Diego at Vikings (preseason)

    12 pm on Ch. 9, 100.3/1130

  • Twins at Toronto

    12:07 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Saints at Lincoln

    5:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Seattle at Lynx

    6 pm on ESPN2, 106.1-FM

  • Twins at Cleveland

    6:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Twins at Cleveland

    6:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Winnipeg at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

Today's Scoreboard

  • Houston

    Pittsburgh

     

    - F

    5

    4

  • Colorado

    Milwaukee

     

    - F

    1

    7

  • Cleveland

    Oakland

     

    - F

    1

    5

  • Chicago Cubs

    San Diego

     

    - F

    6

    3

  • NY Yankees

    Seattle

     

    - F

    5

    0

  • Baltimore

    Washington

    6:05 PM

  • LA Angels

    Toronto

    6:07 PM

  • Texas

    Cincinnati

    6:10 PM

  • Kansas City

    Miami

    6:10 PM

  • Boston

    Tampa Bay

    6:10 PM

  • Philadelphia

    Chicago White Sox

    7:10 PM

  • Detroit

    Minnesota

    7:10 PM

    FSN

  • NY Mets

    St. Louis

    7:15 PM

  • Atlanta

    Arizona

    8:40 PM

  • San Francisco

    LA Dodgers

    9:10 PM

    ESPN

No NFL games today

No NBA games today

No NHL games today

  • Toronto FC

    Orlando City SC

    6:30 PM

  • D.C.

    Montreal

    6:30 PM

  • Philadelphia

    Columbus

    6:30 PM

  • Los Angeles

    Chicago

    7:30 PM

  • Seattle

    Houston

    8:00 PM

  • New England

    San Jose

    9:30 PM