U feasibility report puts total stadium cost at $220 million

The University-commissioned study will be released today and considered by the Board of Regents on Thursday.

Branden Peterson

A feasibility study estimates that building an on-campus stadium and all related projects could cost $220 million, the Star Tribune reported Sunday.

University chief financial officer Richard Pfutzenreuter, who oversees the project’s development, said that dollar figure was close to the projected stadium costs included in the feasibility study.

Hired consultants completed the study this fall and the study will be released at 10 a.m. today.

The Star Tribune reported that the study estimates construction and professional costs could be between $160 million and $170

million, and pollution cleanup, landscaping, and road and parking changes would add an additional $50 million.

The University plans to build the stadium near the Huron Boulevard Parking Complex at the corner of Oak and Fourth streets.

The release of the stadium report comes as the University could be nearing the end of negotiations with T. Denny Sanford over his $35 million proposed donation.

Sanford, reached Sunday in Arizona, said negotiations with University lawyers are ongoing. He said he might comment on the talks later this week.

Sanford, a 1958 University graduate and South Dakota banker, and several University officials announced the proposed gift in early September.

Disagreement over Sanford’s donation conditions have dragged out negotiations and led University President Bob Bruininks to call Sanford’s terms “unacceptable” earlier this year.

After announcing his offer, Sanford later said he would only make his donation after construction of a 50,000 seat on-campus football stadium was completed. In addition, Sanford sought naming rights for the facility and a commitment by the University to find private donations equaling his.

Several other private donations for an on-campus stadium have been made. The University Alumni Association and alumnus Dennis Mathisen, with his wife Gail, each donated $1 million for the project.

Published reports have said Sanford and the University have made little progress since September and that talks were on the verge of falling through last week.

Two weeks ago, University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg said he believes negotiations would likely end within the month. Rotenberg could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Sanford said negotiations have been difficult, but he is still optimistic that a deal is possible.

“We’re still working on it,” he said.

If a deal is made, Sanford’s gift would be the largest donation in University history.

Although a skiing injury will keep him from attending today’s stadium feasibility study press conference, Sanford said he is committed to getting the stadium built.

“Believe me, I want it to happen with or without me,” he said.

Bruininks said several times this fall that the project will require significant private funding. In September, University officials also approached the Minnesota Student Association to plan ways students can help finance a stadium.

The University Board of Regents will discuss the feasibility study and the status of the stadium project Thursday.