Local snaps up Web domain

A Bloomington, Minn., man registered the domain name tcfbankstadium.com.

Than Tibbetts

While TCF was busy purchasing naming rights to the University’s proposed on-campus stadium Thursday, a Bloomington, Minn., man was busy buying naming rights for the stadium’s name on the Internet.

Paul Pashibin registered the Internet domain name tcfbankstadium.com on the same day TCF announced its deal with the University for a $35 million sponsorship.

University and TCF officials said that they were not aware of the purchase of the domain name – a Web site’s Internet identity – until The Minnesota Daily contacted them Friday.

Reached by phone, Pashibin said he would be making a “stadium-related site.”

“I’m going to be putting up a site on that site,” he said.

A spokeswoman for TCF said she didn’t know if the company’s marketing department had looked into purchasing the domain name for the newly named TCF Bank Stadium.

Dan Wolter, director of University News Service, said he thought domain names would be the University’s responsibility because the University will own the stadium.

“Traditionally, I don’t think we use dot-com domains,” he said. “Everything is umn.edu, so I’m not sure how big of an impact that would have.”

Both major Twin Cities sports facilities with corporate sponsorship, the Target Center and Xcel Energy Center, own and operate their dot-com domain names.

Another donor?

N. Larry Bentson, chairman of Midcontinent Media, based in Edina, Minn., is reportedly in negotiations with the University to donate $10 million to the $235 million stadium project.

Bentson was unavailable Friday to comment on a report that appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Bentson and wife Nancy Bentson donated $10 million to the University for scholarships in 2002. Both are University alumni.

University officials have said TCF’s sponsorship would spur other donations and give the stadium momentum in the Legislature.

The stadium bill authored by Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, passed its first committee test in the Senate last week.

The House version of the bill is expected to be heard in committee in early April.

Both bills ask the state to pay $94 million for the project, which is 40 percent of the stadium’s estimated total cost. The University would cover its $141 million share through donations, sponsorships, parking revenue and a proposed student fee of $50 per semester.

After a $2 million down payment and $3 million during construction, TCF will pay approximately $1.4 million per year for stadium naming rights, according to the contract it signed with the University.

Xcel Energy pays an average of $3 million per year for the Xcel Energy Center naming rights. Target pays an average of $1.3 million per year for the Target Center naming rights, according to ESPN.com.