Dayton seeks ban on 11 a.m. kickoffs for Gopher football


Gov. Mark Dayton has put himself in the middle of many sports issues since taking office.

Tuesday the governor took aim at another one. According to the Pioneer Press, Dayton will propose a law to ban 11 a.m. kickoffs at the University of Minnesota.

"They talk about the concern about attendance at the Gopher games – they start them at 11 o'clock in the morning," Dayton told the newspaper. "I'm going to propose that we pass a law that no (Division I FBS) football game in Minnesota can start before noon."

The Gophers hosted four games at TCF Bank Stadium that started 11 a.m. this season, but Dayton said that's just too early.

"If you want to tailgate, you have to be there by 9 a.m.," Dayton told the newspaper. "Most students I don't think are awake at 9 a.m."

The start time of Gophers games is just the latest sports issue that Dayton has attempted to tackle. He pushed through a measure to build a new Minnesota Vikings Stadium, weighed in on the Adrian Peterson situation and took the University of Minnesota to task over a new football/hockey ticket bundling package it created.

But, according to Yahoo Sports writer Nick Bromberg, while student attendance is a problem for some universities it's not a large issue in the grand scheme of college football, because as Bromberg notes "television dollars rule all."

Bromberg points out that without the Big Ten's television deals with FOX, ESPN and its own network, Minnesota would have far less revenue than it currently does.

According to the Pioneer Press, Dayton knows that his proposal may go nowhere, but he told the newspaper this will "get the discussion going."

Dayton told the newspaper if the idea proves to be a popular one he would see how the other Big 10 state governors feel about it.

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