Unfortunately, there are no highlight reels for college sports officials who make the office equivalent of a last-second, game-winning play. But if there were, University of Minnesota officials would be featured for their determined work this week to fix an administrative fumble involving TCF Bank Stadium scheduling.
A week ago, the Star Tribune reported that the U had accidentally double-booked TCF Bank Stadium for July 16 — a mistake that would have cost the university tens of thousands of dollars in lost rent and revenue.
Drum Corps International (DCI), which bills itself as “Marching Music’s Major League,” sought to rent the stadium for a stop in its popular traveling tour, which features student teams performing complex half-time shows. In December, Gopher athletics Chief Financial Officer Tom McGinnis told DCI by e-mail that the date would work.
But U officials discovered in February that Gopher head football coach Tracy Claeys had requested the same date for his privately run football camp. U officials decided to give the date to Claeys. DCI’s student performers and their thousands of dedicated fans were told to find another venue or date.
That would have proved to be a major disruption to the DCI tour. It also would have cost the U thousands in lost stadium rent. The sum charged for Claeys’ camp: $600. In contrast, DCI last year paid $96,000 to use the facility, including $42,000 in rent and ticketing fees.
Fortunately, after the news story and after receiving questions from an editorial writer, U officials drilled down this week to find a solution. On Thursday, the U announced that DCI could hold its event at TCF on July 16 — as the group had requested. A spokesman said the U could accommodate both the camp and DCI by moving some camp activities.
The hustle by the U to accommodate both groups is welcome. It’s also a savvy business move. Demonstrating that the U honors its commitments is an important way to keep these paying customers coming back.