U reveals pricey plan for Gophers athletics

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 11, 2013 - 3:06 AM

The U revealed its $190 million plan to upgrade facilities.

 

Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague unveiled a $190 million athletic facilities master plan for the University of Minnesota on Wednesday, surprising observers with the size, scope and cost of a project that will affect every university sport.

“More than anything, I wanted to show that we’re going to be aggressive and be committed to doing the best we can and stretching ourselves all that we can to building something like this,” Teague said. “Am I guaranteeing all of this is going to get done in eight years? No. But that’s our goal.”

In presenting the proposal to the Board of Regents, Teague offered a relatively brief timeline to complete the project and said the athletic department intends to foot the entire bill through fundraising. In comparison, TCF Bank Stadium, the Gophers football stadium that opened in 2009 and had a $288.5 million budget, had a fundraising goal of $86 million.

The plan encompasses a football training complex, a men’s and women’s basketball practice facility, an academic center, a training table for dining, a women’s gymnastics facility, an Olympic sport indoor practice facility, an outdoor Olympic sport track and a wrestling training facility — all of it housed on the athletic department’s current footprint.

“It is true that we need some investment in our facilities,” said University President Eric Kaler. “We’re in the Big Ten and we need to be competitive in the Big Ten. This investment is going to move us a long way toward where we need to be.”

The Bierman Athletic Building will be torn down to accommodate the plans, and the current track will be moved to a new location, with the basketball practice facility landing where the track and a parking lot currently sit. The facilities would be grouped together to create a home base of sorts for student athletes.

“Our desire … is to make the area where Bierman is an athletic village,” Teague said. “We felt like our student athletes, our coaches, everyone wanted more of a center and an anchor and a hub’’ for the athletes.

Regent David M. Larson pointed out that no such holistic plan has ever been proposed at the university. Administrators have instead chosen to attack concerns one at a time. “This is going to be a change from our historic past,” Larson said.

The trick will be finding the money to make it all happen. In the months before this plan was announced, Teague estimated the cost could be between $80 million and $125 million.

Teague lauded the state’s fundraising potential and said the hope was to finance the entire project privately,.There was no figure yet available on funds committed, he said, nor does the department currently have a lead donor.

“We have a lot of passionate people out there, and I’m trusting that if we sell a good vision, that we’ll find that we’ll have a great response,” said Teague, who was hired as Gophers athletic director in April 2012. “We hope there will still be a handful of lead donors.”

In big-time collegiate athletics, extravagant facilities have almost become the norm. That has put the U at a disadvantage in trying to recruit players who are also visiting programs whose facilities are more modern.

The Gophers men’s and women’s basketball teams, along with a host of other programs, share Williams Arena as a venue to both practice and play, while Bierman houses countless teams on a given day. The lack of availability can keep student athletes from practicing as much as they would like, and the cramped space can make it difficult for students to find a place to study, Teague said.

Minnesota along with Northwestern is one of only two programs in the Big Ten without a dedicated basketball practice facility.

Northwestern is currently raising money for a $220 million athletics complex, while Wisconsin announced plans for an $86 million student-athlete performance center last year. Nebraska unveiled a state-of-the art basketball practice facility in 2011 and is currently working on a $179 million arena.

“We need to get caught up,” Teague said.

Teague called Wednesday’s blueprints “phase one,” indicating that there could be a “phase two” in the future. That prospect, however, was not discussed in detail, although Teague said a renovated outer concourse for Williams Arena could be part of it.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston - LP: B. Workman 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: G. Cole 3
Toronto - LP: A. Sanchez 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 3
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 2
Los Angeles - WP: P. Rodriguez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: N. Ramirez 4
Cleveland - WP: K. Crockett 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: S. Deduno 1
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Freeman 3
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 6 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 7
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 3 FINAL
San Diego - WP: R. Erlin 7
Seattle - WP: T. Wilhelmsen 3 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: K. Jepsen 1
Tampa Bay 14 FINAL
Atlanta 56
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close