The Gophers have installed new FieldTurf at TCF Bank Stadium, but it's currently missing football yard lines. The University of Minnesota purposely kept the permanent design of the new turf less sport specific, so it would be easier to host other events such as soccer games.
New turf is down! Getting back to the basics. Home sweet home pic.twitter.com/AwxTbNyMCM— Jeffrey Phelps (@PhelpsDLCoach) May 1, 2016
Minnesota United, for example, has considered working out an agreement with the university to play its 2017 season at TCF Bank Stadium, if it is ready by then to make the transition to Major League Soccer. Another option for United is Target Field before it's proposed new stadium is built in St. Paul for the 2018 season.
"Nothing has changed as far as MLS; we're talking to [United] about it," said Gophers senior associate athletics director Chris Werle.
The permanent design of the field has a white rectangle for the boundary which is more narrow than the NCAA football boundary. The word "MINNESOTA" is in gold letters where each end zone would be, and the middle features a maroon block 'M.'
For now, the rest of the field is green.
"We finished the field ahead of schedule," Werle said. "We're waiting for some materials to come, and then we'll put the football lines down."
The football lines are expected to be painted onto the field in about two weeks. But why not have the football field permanently etched into the turf, as it was before?
"I think we've found since we've been here that this is a great multi-use stadium," Werle said. "We want the option to hold different events in there."
The Vikings played at TCF Bank Stadium the past two years, waiting for U.S. Bank Stadium to be constructed. After each Vikings game, the purple markings and NFL hash marks were immediately removed to make it look like the Gophers field again.
If United were to play at TCF Bank Stadium, its markings -- with the circle at midfield and the penalty boxes -- would be painted onto the field and then removed.
"With anything else held on the field, we should be able to pull up any markings," Werle said. "That will be the Gophers football field, I assure you."