Regents OK stadium-name deal

BAt a special Board of Regents meeting Thursday, the board accepted the University’s naming agreement with TCF for the on-campus stadium.

Richard Pfutzenreuter, the University’s chief financial officer, and Mark Rotenberg, the University’s general counsel, presented the agreement to the board.

In the agreement, TCF will pay the University $35 million during a period of 25 years, and the stadium will be named TCF Bank Stadium.

During the meeting, Regents Chairman David Metzen asked what kinds of efforts are necessary in the State Legislature to help fund the stadium.

Rotenberg stressed the importance of state funding, which University officials are seeking to pay 40 percent of the $235 million facility.

“For this agreement to go forward, we need a legislative power,” he said.

The University is asking the state to pay $94 million, which is 40 percent, of the stadium’s projected $235 million total cost. Stadium bills in the House and Senate are awaiting committee action.

Rotenberg said that if a bill providing finances “acceptable to the University” has not been signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty by Dec. 31, the University can get out of the deal with TCF.

He did not specify what amount is deemed “acceptable.”

Through the deal, TCF is guaranteed to be the dominant and prominent sponsor of the stadium, and no other sponsor will be allowed to have as much total signage.

TCF would receive approximately 40 percent of total advertising time on exterior digital display boards, and the name and/or logo will appear on tickets, employee name badges, maintenance vehicles and information kiosks.

The board also accepted the affinity agreement, in which TCF is granted the right to offer debit cards, ATM cards, gift cards and check cards in affiliation with the University. These will be called “Gopher Cards.”

To help promote the cards, the University will give TCF access to mailing lists including names and addresses of local Twin Cities campus alumni and sporting-event season-ticket holders of athletics department events.

Under the agreement, the University will also lease space in the West Bank Union skyway to TCF for a retail banking office.

The bank will also have the option to lease the space in Coffman Union currently occupied by U.S. Bank when its term expires in 2010.

TCF will give the University numerous signing and performance bonuses throughout the agreement, as well as royalties as new accounts are made.

Rotenberg said the agreement was highly favorable to the University.

“We’re in a very, very advantageous position with this relationship with TCF,” he said.

Andrew Sorsoleil, a student representative to the board, spoke for the student body at the meeting.

Sorsoleil offered congratulations to the University on the naming agreement and encouraged University President Bob Bruininks and the board to continue to look for other sponsors.

“Students do truly support an on-campus stadium,” he said.