Bruininks lifts stadium fund-raising ban

Branden Peterson

After a University alumnus gave $35 million last week for an on-campus football stadium, University President Bob Bruininks lifted a fund-raising ban on athletics facilities Friday.

University administrators instituted the moratorium in April 2002 on any planning or fund-raising for athletics facilities. The moratorium also prohibited any athletics facility repairs to not related to health or safety.

The move was imposed to save money, according to a moratorium document. The measure is scheduled to expire in fiscal year 2005.

The document states that only the University president was allowed to make exceptions to the moratorium.

After talking with Bruininks several times last week, Athletics Director Joel Maturi said he expected the move. Now, the University can officially solicit funds from individuals for those projects.

“Obviously for us to improve the facilities that we need, we need the funds available,” Maturi said.

Rowing team members will be thrilled that they can raise funds for a new facility, coach Wendy Davis said.

“They’re going to be dancing,” she said.

With no permanent facility to use along the Mississippi River, the 50-member team’s practice site is under a tent. With events scheduled in October and March, the team is forced to battle cold weather every year, Davis said.

Athletes’ parents expect their children to be safe at practice, and that’s something a new facility will offer, she said.

Davis said she spoke with potential donors for a new facility, but lifting the moratorium gives her permission to officially seek donations.