TCF Bank Stadium was brimming with 54,147 fans for the Gophers' season opener against No. 2 TCU last year. Athletic 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.
On Wednesday, the university announced some security updates and reminded fans to allow extra time when entering TCF Bank Stadium. Per a news release, "The most significant change fans will notice ... will be the use of hand-held metal detector to screen everyone entering the facility."