On Friday morning, the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents approved many key details to finalize the plan to construct a new, competition-level outdoor Track and Field Stadium on the University’s East Bank campus. Though the general plan for this project was approved during the Board’s September meetings, today’s approval helps ensure the project will continue toward its goal of opening the new track by September 2018, with construction scheduled to begin this summer.
“We are very grateful to have the support of our University and our Regents to bring a competition-level track back to campus and provide a new home for our track and field programs and the students who represent our University,” said Athletics Director Mark Coyle. “We are incredibly excited about this facility, not just because it will make a huge difference in the lives of our students, but because it will be a valuable asset to our entire state’s track and field community.”
The University’s new Track and Field Stadium will be more than the everyday home of both the Gopher women’s and men’s track and field programs (teams that include more than 150 student-athletes). It will provide a centerpiece facility to host Big Ten and NCAA championships on campus for the first time in more than 15 years, as well as Minnesota’s state high school meet, USA Track and Field competitions, and community and club events.
The new stadium will feature a nine-lane track with three chutes, full field event and steeplechase hosting capabilities, and a design to allow sprints and certain field events to be held in multiple directions to take advantage of wind conditions on competition days. These features, along with permanent and event-based seating, provide the flexibility and the amenities to host a wide variety of meets.
The new facility will neighbor Siebert Field, the University’s baseball venue, to the east. This site is currently occupied by the University’s rec sports softball field and indoor bubble, which will be relocated to a lot just east of TCF Bank Stadium.
Fundraising and private contributions will be play a major part in the athletics department’s financing of this new stadium. Those efforts have already begun and will continue in the months and years to come.
More information about the facility and how to give is available on NothingShortOfGreatness.com. As the construction process continues, more information will be available on the website.
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