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July 29, 2008

Gophers stadium and a reality check

Greetings from the Greet Machine everyone! Today I thought I would take a little tour of the progress of the new Gophers stadium. And I do mean a "little tour" ... only 4 pictures. I can take more, just let me know what part you'd like to see.

Here is a picture of the south side of the stadium which will feature the press boxes and other seating that I'll never be able to afford:


Next we have a picture of the steel beams that will hold the new scoreboard. And this won't be any pansy sized Wisconsin scoreboard. This will be the second largest scoreboard in the country (second only to Texas). While I was looking at this I thought to myself, "Why not go the whole distance? If you are installing a scoreboard and you find out it will be the second biggest in the country, why not go for the whole kit and kaboodle and figure out a way to install the largest?" The answer is money, of course, but that really is a weak excuse when it comes to being the biggest and best. Don't you think?


This is a shot of the north side of the stadium. It gives a pretty nice view of what the brick work around the stadium will look like. I think it is safe to say that this stadium will look a whole lot more "collegiate" than the Metrodome.


Finally, here is a shot of two of the county stone plates that will line the stadium on top of most of the arched entrances. And on a side note, I gotta say nothing good ever came out of Wadena county. Wadena county is the most backwater, hickville, good-for-nothing county in all of Minnesota. I'm sure all of you would agree.


Finally, a short story.

So, a few weeks ago my wife and I had lunch in Dinkytown during a slow day at work. After lunch, I decided to take her by the new stadium because quite frankly it is an impressive site. The stadium is huge and it is an imposing presence on the far east side of the East Bank of campus.

Anyway, while we were driving around it my wife casually remarks, "Well, it sure doesn't look like a baseball stadium."

Confused I answered, "This is the new Gophers stadium. They are going to play football here."

Indignant she replied, "We're building two stadiums?!?! How did that ever happen?"

Now for the moral of this story. For the past 14 years my wife has lived with the most stadium-crazy individual in the state of Minnesota (with the possible exception of Jeff Thompson). This was especially true over the last five years when I went into Twins stadium crazy-person overdrive. I used to live blog Minnesota legislative hearings and Hennepin County government meetings, for goodness sakes.

But after all this time and effort my wife still didn't learn any of the details, even while living with me.

And that, my friends, is a typical Minnesotan. Ask them if they'd like to pay for a stadium and they will most likely say no. But after construction starts and the teams start playing in them, all this belly-aching about stadiums will be a distant memory.

That's all I got for today. Have a good one!

Posted by snackeru at July 29, 2008 12:28 PM


I would venture that the reason we will have the second-largest scoreboard in TCF stadium is Minnesota humility.

We're just not used to the concept of being #1 at very many things, except maybe those "quality of life" surveys that various publications do and nobody remembers for more than a day or two.

That, and the fact that you know for sure that as soon as we got our scoreboard, Texas would run right out and find some deep-pockets booster to one-up us again.

Posted by: Snyder at July 29, 2008 3:42 PM

It's only the visitor's side of the scoreboard that needs all the room. That's why it needs to be so big.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at July 29, 2008 3:54 PM

Big, little...I don't care. I just want one where half the numbers aren't burned out so I can see what the freakin' score is. Is that asking too much?

Posted by: Dianna at July 29, 2008 4:02 PM

Wow. First you get rid of my favorite pink stove, and now you are hating on my home county. At least I wasn't born in Wisconsin!

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at July 29, 2008 7:31 PM

Curt! My profuse apologies! I had no idea the fine town of Aldrich MN is located in Wadena County! That does change my opinion of the county, that is for sure. But then again, you've still got the El Ray in Motley. That's a killer.

Posted by: Shane at July 29, 2008 9:24 PM

It is good to know that is was just a coincedence that you happened to choose my home county to pick on. And for the record the El-Ray (which actually has been closed for several years) is in Morrison County. You really need to get more familiar with the wonder that is central Minnesota.

Curt in Grand Forks (but formally of Aldrich)

Posted by: Curt Hanson at July 30, 2008 8:13 AM

Central Minnesota? When I get past Maple Grove all my map says is "Here there be dragons." You "out-staters" must have had it rough!

Posted by: Shane at July 30, 2008 8:50 AM

Shane - thanks for the nice mention in your post. My wife actually created and named my blog for me way back when as a present (to herself) so I wouldn't talk to her about stadiums anymore. I could simply rant on my blog about stadiums for all of cyberspace to read.

By the way, the whole Twins stadium ordeal took about 15-20 years off of my life, so I will not be involved in the Vikings fight for a stadium.

They are on their own.

Jeff T.

Posted by: Jett T. at July 30, 2008 8:17 PM

"Greater" Minnesota is not for the faint of heart. The mosquitoes are bigger and the wildlife is tougher. Only the strongest survive (plus Paul Mokeski)!

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at July 31, 2008 7:29 PM

As a Todd-county native, I'm not sure whether to be offended by the shot at Wadena county or give it an Amen. Since you wouldn't know the difference if it weren't for the sign on highway 71 as you cross the line, I guess I should take offense.

Curt is Aldridge really anything other then Ted and Gen's resteraunt? I was always under the impression that pretty much was the town, kind of like the Purple Palace in Vining.

Posted by: David H at August 1, 2008 5:33 PM

Great story about family stadium confusion. As a communications professional, I'd say you have some family communications issues to address! Probably it has something to do with defense mechanisms, which anyone/anything in any way involved with Gopher football can't have too much of.

Posted by: ofergopher at August 2, 2008 11:36 AM

Thanks for the Gopher stadium pics Shane. I can't wait for the season to start. I can only imagine how I will be next year at this time.


Posted by: Derek at August 3, 2008 8:58 AM

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