Univ. Of Minnesota Unveils Bold $190M Facilities Plan After Years Of Slow Growth
Univ. of Minnesota AD Norwood Teague yesterday unveiled a $190M athletic facilities master plan, “surprising observers with the size, scope and cost of a project that will affect every university sport,” according to a front-page piece by Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. Teague offered a “relatively brief timeline to complete the project and said the athletic department intends to foot the entire bill through fundraising.” 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.” 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.” Rayno writes the “trick will be finding the money to make it all happen.” Teague in the months before this plan was announced estimated that the cost “could be between" $80-125M. Teague “lauded the state’s fundraising potential and said the hope was to finance the entire project privately.” He said that there was “no figure yet available on funds committed,” nor does the department “currently have a lead donor” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/11).
PICKING UP THE PACE: In St. Paul, Marcus Fuller notes UM in the past has “tried to tackle one project at a time.” Williams Arena upgrades “would not be included in the first phase.” Phase two improvements “would be to the arena's concourse and would not alter the inner bowl of seats.” There are “no plans to expand the seating capacity of 14,625.” Architectural firm Populous was “hired in October to develop the master facilities plan for the entire athletic department” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 7/11). In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman notes there are “rumors on campus this week" that the goal raising over $7M "before building a new basketball practice facility has been reached, but no announcement on that was made” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/11).