University leaders form new stadium advisory committee

Branden Peterson

More than 20 University faculty, staff and student leaders have formed a stadium advisory committee that will serve as a voice in football stadium plans.

The group met for the first time Tuesday and received an update from University officials about the on-campus stadium project, said Lynn Holleran, an associate of University President Bob Bruininks.

Organized by the president’s office, the committee will start meeting at least once per month after a pre-design and feasibility study of the facility is complete. The next meeting is scheduled for mid-November, Holleran said.

The committee will provide communication between University officials, student, faculty and staff groups, she said.

The advisory committee includes representatives from the Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators, the Minnesota Student Association, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, Teamsters, the athletics department, the alumni association and others, Holleran said.

The committee is designed to convey ideas and opinions from student, faculty and staff representatives about the work being completed by the University and project consultants on the stadium, Holleran said.

Marching band representative Brian Blaser, a journalism senior, said the committee will give different University groups the opportunity to have a voice in stadium decisions.

“I have a lot of interest on bringing (a stadium) back on campus,” Blaser said. “I’m glad I’m going to be a part of that process.”

Student and faculty input played a major role in some facility design decisions at Hamline University through a university council, spokesman Gary McVey said.

Groups that ultimately use new facilities – including students, faculty and staff – have made beneficial suggestions that changed aspects of Hamline projects, McVey said.

While these groups will not give financially to these projects, suggestions from the group improved the project, McVey said.

The University hired project consultants earlier this summer to plan how the stadium might look, what the stadium might cost and how it would impact the area. Their pre-designs will likely include an estimate for the multimillion-dollar project.

The University of Minnesota Foundation is using donation money to pay $125,000 for the pre-design study.

The University publicly moved forward with preliminary plans for a new Gophers-only stadium in September, after 1958 University alumnus T. Denny Sanford pledged $35 million.