Stadium fundraising slows near finish line

Although the number keeps creeping closer to the University of MinnesotaâÄôs goal, fundraising for TCF Bank Stadium has ratcheted down a notch.

TCF Bank Stadium steel rendering.

Fundraising efforts for the stadium brought in only $5 million in a 10-month span ending on Dec. 31, according to the University of Minnesota Foundation. Comparatively, about $15 million was donated in a shorter stretch from fall 2007 to February 2008. The current number leaves the school with about $5 million left to raise in order to reach its goal of $86.5 million. Officials have said they hope to have fundraising done by the stadiumâÄôs opening in September 2009. Associate Athletics Director Phil Esten told the Daily last April that the athletics department expected things like ticket sales and fundraising activity to increase as the stadium progressed. Fundraising for the project is currently in âÄúphase three,âÄù a stage that consists of a county-to-county tour in Minnesota. Despite efforts being focused on that campaign, other donations are still being accepted.

Construction completion in sight

As athletics department officials work to obtain donations, much of the work on the stadium itself will be out of the view of passersby, stadium project manager Brian Swanson said. âÄúMost of the work over the next couple of months will be inside the building,âÄù he said, adding that there will be some scoreboard and seating work on the exterior. The stadium is still scheduled for âÄúsubstantial completionâÄù in July.