Regents to develop Gophers stadium planning guidelines

Jake Weyer

The University Board of Regents will discuss guidelines for a possible on-campus, Gophers-only stadium for the first time in recent memory Thursday.

The stadium is one of several topics on the agenda for the regents’ monthly meetings Thursday and Friday.

At Thursday’s meeting, the regents will address how an on-campus stadium would be financed and constructed and how it would further the University’s academic priorities.

“This stadium has to advance the academic mission of the University,” Regent Peter Bell said. “We will err on the side of proposals that advance the University’s mission the most.”

Bell said it is clear the regents are interested in developing an on-campus stadium.

Kathryn Brown, University vice president and chief of staff, said the regents at a meeting last year discussed the possibility of a joint stadium to be shared by the Minnesota Vikings and the Gophers, but the Vikings ultimately decided against the idea.

The meeting Thursday will address issues similar to those brought up in last year’s meetings, Brown said.

However, not all of the principles and guidelines used to discuss the joint stadium will be repeated Thursday, University chief financial officer Richard Pfutzenreuter said. Last year the regents had to reach agreements with the Vikings regarding management and use of a stadium for other entertainment purposes such as motocross.

“It was a whole different can of worms when the Vikings were involved in that proposal,” he said.

The University is now conducting a study to determine if a stadium can be built on campus. The study is expected to be complete in early December.

The regents will also discuss the University’s tuition policy and how it affects the institution.

The current tuition policies will be analyzed and critiqued to find what impact tuition has on current and prospective students.

Tuition rates will also be compared to those at other Big Ten universities.

Friday, the regents will vote to approve the University’s six-year capital plan, which outlines the amount of funding necessary to finish construction and renovation projects on campus.