GAPSA discourages using fees for stadium

Branden Peterson

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly passed a resolution at its meeting Tuesday saying the University should only consider using student fees for an on-campus stadium if all other funding sources are exhausted.

Under the resolution, the University might still use student fees if student representatives on the Stadium Steering Committee think the University has used all other funding sources.

The original motion, proposed by the Council of Graduate Students and authored by graduate student Keith Cunnien, stated that GAPSA vehemently opposes any funding for the stadium from student fees.

Yet the motion caused many to say it might be premature for such a resolution. Others suggested the original motion might improperly suggest the governing group’s position on the topic.

“This needs to come when we get these details,” said Gina Jennissen, GAPSA’s representative to the Board of Regents.

GAPSA President Todd Powell said he was informed University officials want to discuss the stadium predesign and feasibility study after it is completed in December.

University officials are working with design consultants who are analyzing transportation, site, construction and other issues involved with a stadium project.

University officials asked the Minnesota Student Association to look for ways students could help fund the new facility planned for the Huron parking lots.

Students and faculty gave about $665,000 to help build Memorial Stadium in 1921. At the time, the bowl-shaped stadium cost $572,000 to build, according to the Alumni Association Web site.

Now, 82 years later, it will likely cost more than $100 million to construct a new facility.

University leaders from the Board of Regents to University President Bob Bruininks spoke Thursday about how the University should keep many avenues for funding open.

At the State Capitol in January, the Minnesota Vikings and the Twins are both expected to seek public funding for new ballparks.

If the professional teams are successful, several University officials and students at the regents meetings said, it might be possible for the University to also receive help funding a new stadium.

Since announcing South Dakota banker T. Denny Sanford’s $35 million gift for a new stadium in early September, Bruininks has said several times that he expects the project to rely significantly on private funds.

Correction
To clarify Wednesday’s article “GAPSA discourages using fees for stadium,” student senators for the Council of Graduate Students on the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly wrote the resolution to oppose use of student fees for a stadium, but the resolution was not designed by the Council of Graduate Students.