$166 million Gophers' Athletics Village approved by U of M


It's official, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents on Friday approved a plan to build a new Athletics Village.

News of the potential approval had circulated in for weeks, but it didn't become official until the vote passed Friday.

U of M President Eric Kaler revealed last week that only $76.5 million of the $166 million needed to build Athletics Village has been raised, the original price tag for which was $190 million.

To pay the remaining balance, the school plans to borrow money, which will then be paid back by the Gophers' men's and women's athletics departments.

The new complex will feature upgrades for current facilities, like the Gibson-Nagurski and Bierman buildings, along with new practice facilities for football and men's and women's basketball. Here's what they're going to build, according to a release from the U of M. 

"The cornerstone of the project is the new, 60,000-square-foot Land O’Lakes Center for Excellence, which will house a new academic center, nutrition center and leadership center. This new structure will provide significantly more space for all 720 Gopher student-athletes, more than doubling the size of the current academic center, transforming on-campus student-athlete development opportunities, and providing Gopher Athletics’ first centralized training table to feed all student-athletes and host nutrition programs.

Sharing a building with the Land O’Lakes Center for Excellence will be the Basketball Development Center, which will become the hub from both women’s and men’s basketball at the U of M, with practice courts, locker rooms, training rooms and teaching spaces for both programs."

Click here to see renderings of the Village.

An exact date for groundbreaking isn't known, but it will happen in the "weeks to come," the release notes. It will take 18-24 months to build the facilities, and it's hoped it will be open by Jan. 2018.

Interim athletics director Beth Goetz announced in early September that the university's track teams will get a $5 million practice facility built on the East Bank of campus, according to the Pioneer Press.

Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune says he's spent the last 50 years watching the Gophers football and men's basketball teams struggle to compete in the Big Ten, but he hopes the facilities upgrades "will become the turning point for sustained success at the U."

Next Up

smoke, hazy sky, wildfire smoke

Hazy conditions may lift temporarily, but smoke will keep coming for MN

Drifting smoke "will likely remain with us for a while," one group warned.

Pixabay - covid face mask bicycle bike

Number of MN counties with high, substantial COVID transmission hits 64

Nine days ago, 14 counties passed that threshold. We're now up to 64.

rowdi billboard

Six months on, devoted family not giving up search to find missing Rowdi

Rowdi went missing on the North Shore in February, but Cory Carlson has hope Rowdi is still alive.

Pixabay - hospital emergency room sign

Woman suffers fractured neck, leg after driver blows through stop sign

The crash happened early Thursday about 20 miles outside of Detroit Lakes.

suni lee

Watch: Suni Lee reunites with family after winning 3 Olympic medals

Suni said she wouldn't be where he is today without her family.

Julie blaha and melisa franzen

Blaha, Franzen reveal extent of injuries suffered in crash

The state auditor and state senator were driving home from FarmFest.

covid vaccine card

More than 11K Minnesotans signed up for $100 COVID incentive on Day 1

The new vaccination rewards program opened on Wednesday, and it has proven quite popular among the newly vaccinated.

jeremy jones richardson - pine county

Charges: Man broke into friend's home, killed him with his cane

Pieces of the victim's cane were found on his back, charges say.

Awwal Adebayo Ladipo Go Fund Me hospital

Charges: Fatal punch after fight led to fractured skull, brain bleed

The victim, a 25-year-old St. Cloud State grad, died two days later.

Pixabay - school - classroom

Minneapolis Public Schools to require face masks for staff, students

The rule goes into effect Monday, and will continue at the start of the new school year.