Groups plan to rally supportfor Gophers-only stadium

Student organization leaders met with University officials Wednesday to discuss an increased student role in promoting an on-campus, Gophers-only football stadium.

Minnesota Student Association President Eric Dyer, who supports using some student fees money for a stadium, said he wants to do more to help bring Gophers football back to campus.

“The state has to do something first,” University budget officer Brian Swanson said. “You’ve done your part. It’s up to the state now to do its part.”

Potential donors want to see the state and students contribute to a stadium before they donate to the cause, Swanson said.

Dyer said MSA will assist in lobbying alumni for donations, saying their contributions will ease the burden for students.

University chief financial officer Richard Pfutzenreuter told a House committee Monday that if donors provide more than

expected, the student fees contribution would be lowered.

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly and MSA are planning a stadium rally at Coffman Union prior to the Big Ten home opener against Northwestern on Sept. 25.

“I want to create a fun pregame meeting place for students here on campus,” Dyer said. “Football game days are supposed to be fun and we want to show that it will be that much more fun when we have an on-campus stadium.”

The pregame activities would ideally feature maroon and gold decorations, cheerleaders, the marching band, speakers, free food and Gophers merchandise giveaways, Dyer said. The events would be designed to draw students and alumni.

The student organizations are also considering promotional events at homecoming and prior to the game against Iowa on Nov. 13. Events on the superblock could also be planned, Dyer said.

The events would be a preview of what it might be like to have an on-campus stadium, Dyer said. If the Gophers stadium bill fails in the Legislature, the events would be used to rekindle support, he said.