University of Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium

One of the most innovative and progressive stadium developments ever has been completed at the University of Minnesota. Below are a couple videos I came across on Discovery Channel over the weekend.

and this more recent one with a little more substance.

Ed: Paul
{You’re right Phil we do need to start adding who the Ed of each piece was – learning curves}.

desolate south dunners

Not quite the environment conducive to a family fun tailgate BBQ, is it.


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Inspiration, Stadiums

42 responses to “University of Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium

  1. Phil

    I don’t know which one of you posted the original article, but well done. Interesting reading on the surface, with a couple of relevant points to note. The total cost is around NZ 500 million, including associated infrastructure. The university fronted up with 20% funding and 30% came from private funding. The interesting part of that is that the remaining 50% came from the state. I would suspect that their 50% included 100% of the infrastructure costs. Roading and the like. There was a token land deal whereby the university handed over a parcel of nature reserve land in return. But the state must have clearly seen some benefit in having a new stadium. In their case.

    Two little gems that I think we could pounce on. First is that there are 800 bicycle parks located right at the stadium door. There’s an incentive to assist traffic congestion. And promote a bit of a fun atmosphere at the same time.

    The other innovation I liked was the availability of a 6 hour, game day, public transport pass. Most buses in the city pass through, or near to the Octagon. Stadium shuttle buses could run to and from the stadium, with the Octagon closed off to regular traffic. As happens today when a large cruise ship is in town. Again, travelling with other fans, be it on foot, or in a bus, tends to boost the atmosphere and excitement of going to a game. It’s always a bit of fun walking up Burns Street on the way to Carisbrook on game night.

  2. Phil

    It’s worth noting also that the new Minnesota stadium is alcohol free during game day. Something I am personally in favour of.

  3. Phil

    I think I love this guy. This from the President of Minnesota University:

    “Over the years, we have avoided selling or even advertising alcohol in areas with significant student presence. I just didn’t feel that was in keeping with the values of the University of Minnesota.”

    How the last few days might have been with that sort of weight around campus.

  4. I hadn’t come across this development until the weekend when it was a small insert on the Discovery Channel.

    But as you say, the more we discover about it, the more interesting it becomes.

    The no alcohol around the stadium is rather unique, and very much not typical of a College Football stadium. Tailgate parties are a fine tradition in US sports, in which hours before the game parking lots are turned into BBQ ‘back yards’. I’ve had the pleasure to experience 3 of these over different sporting codes. The first was possibly the one with the greatest amount of alcohol on display, Oakland A’s vs San Francisco Giants baseball game in Oakland. A right festival atmosphere (helped by the fact that it’s a local derby). The second was a winter affair outside the Vancouver Canucks Ice Hockey (don’t buy the beer in the stadium it’s terrible) – as you could assume, much less festive in the Vancouver drizzle. The final and possibly most like any Kiwi affair was in Boston for a Red Sox baseball playoff game.

    Each of these had its own culture, as did the Melrose 7’s in Scotland in which you were able to take your own alcohol along.

    I do know of all the student campus stadia in the US, the one I have on my ‘sports bucket list’ is Camp Randal Stadium in Madison Wisconsin, home of the Wisconsin Badgers.

    Back to the greening of stadia, as legislation and economics will eventually dictate these seemingly radical moves for a stadium will one day be a matter of course.

  5. Bikes, I remember those. I remember that I had to be at the University of Canterbury no later than 8:20am to get a place to park my bike among the thousands of others. Car parking outside of the staff spots was more or less limited to the perimeter of the campus. These days the complete opposite is true, in fact I struggled to find a place to chain a bike to last summer, that’s how few bike parks there were.

  6. Phil

    Jaha !! I learn something new every day. Tailgating. Well there you go. Now their stadium rules make a little more sense:

    “Tailgating is permitted on football game days in designated surface parking lots, during specified hours. Tailgating may begin 6 hours before game time, but no earlier than 7 am. Tailgating must end 4 hours after game time or midnight, whichever comes first. All vehicles must leave the parking lots when they close at midnight.”

    I reckon after 6 hours of warming up in the parking lot, they probably don’t need to sell anything more inside the stadium. I wonder how many tailgaters actually make it into the stadium ?

    “Free bicycle parking is located on the south side of the stadium. These spots are available three hours before the game, but are taken away two hours after the game ends.”

  7. and wow Tailgating is no small affair either. It’s one of the best things about a College Football game (or concert for that matter). These things are huge.

    Still one of the funniest (?) things I have ever seen in a North American stadium was at the Oakland A’s baseball, where this monster truck of a guy sat in front of us and didn’t move for the whole 3 hrs and consumed, 2x medium pizza (which my wife and I shared 1 between us), 3x hot dogs, 1x feed of Nachos and approx 8 large cups of beer. The Oakland A’s beer cup made it all the way back here to NZ (good quality plastic) where it is now my fav pen and pencil cup.

  8. Elizabeth

    Paul, when I started authoring here it was possible for people to view the author’s name for each post, via our two names listed in the side bar, and possibly by other means I didn’t discover since I knew what each of us had written. Something changed. As you know most posts for the last months have been by Elizabeth Kerr – the dashboard shows the imbalance, you’ve been busy with other things and that’s absolutely OK. I’ve been keeping the view numbers up meanwhile through (starter) media posts, even I don’t have time for major new essays daily…the point has to be made.

    We’re very lucky to have committed posters raising our numbers too, exclamation. They’re doing a damn fine job. And the balance this brings us towards is ultra helpful.

  9. As far as I know it’s something that changed with the quick update of wordpress to 2.8.4 (as version 2.8) had a major security flaw.

    As this site is free hosted by wordpress we get the upgrades automatically whether we want them or not, so this change has been thrust upon us. I’ll look into it.

  10. Richard

    The name ‘tailgating’ may be new, but ‘boot barbecues’ or whatever have been a feature in the carparks at Eden Park ever since I can remember.

    Joining in didn’t soothe all those losses including the RS match we should have won except for Mr Hawke’s blunder when Auckland scored that “try”!

    Christchurch followed suit (they always have to keep up with the Aucks) but inevitably commercialised it by setting up ‘recycled car boots’ under a marquee or maybe the older grandstand (now gone) but it lacked the casualness and fun that was part of the Eden Park atmosphere.

    People were eating and drinking – mainly wine and beer as I recall (it’s a long time since I have been to one). I do not recall any “over the top stuff” but then it was probably held in the ‘members’ carparks’ and one must not, of course, misbehave in those!

    No, no that is for Castle Street in Dunners!

    I also went to a test some years ago at Ballymore, same sort of thing although there they always turn a rugby match into an event. I was also invited to a lunch by one of the big accounting firms, silver service and all in one of the marquees. Very swish and, I imagine, expensive. But very enjoyable! They probably do the same now at Suncorp.

    These things all turned a rugby match into an OCCASION. (Well, to be honest Christchurch’s boot parties didn’t).

    Have we ever had an occasion at Carisbrook?

    Unless you were invited to “drinkies” before hand or a corporate box, all we do is “rush in – rush out” .

    Hopefully the new stadium, its facilities and ambience … and the fact that it is covered … will change all that!

  11. “Have we ever had an ocasion at Carisbrook?”

    Where would we have an ‘occasion’ at Carisbrook. At least there is Logan Park right across the road and a tailgate tradition could easily be encouraged in that area.

  12. David

    Paul asks “Where would we have an ‘occasion’ at Carisbrook”

    Burns St, Neville St, or Murrayfield St. They’re closed for matches anyway so it’s perfect – couldn’t be closer.

  13. Peter

    Well there was the old tent city at Bathgate Park established for test matches.

  14. kate

    Am I missing something or are we saying students we will make North Dunedin alcohol free except for rugby weekends where we will allow drinks where we want the rugby fans to be! Richard your comments linked to Paul’s are unfortunate this week. We do not need any more alcohol outlets of any sort in N Dunedin – we need to manage it and that means dispersing people as Carisbrook has, not concentrating them altogether while they get too much in them – and as this is close to the university to encourage student attendance what else could we expect.

    PS I drove through the university area at 7.30 on Saturday night – it was fairly deserted – they too were watching the Test – obviously not at 3am!

    • Elizabeth

      I’m with you on this Kate.

      With the Undie 500 leaving town (racing!?), now to get rid of the rugby and beer…

      The new stadium perpetuates (if not inside it, then outside it) the NZ culture of hard drinking, ie getting loaded for any reason, not just the unhappy excess attaching to celebration of male sport by men and women.

      Deplete some more brain cells in the environs of stadium and university ‘extension’. What a cool idea…and so we need more street fires to make it toasty and hospitable, and some in the stadium carpark to create atmosphere and loathing.

      This is the grand academic future of Dunedin City – because we know so much about controlling crowds and drunkenness here.

  15. The current carisbrook does not disperse people.

    Are you saying that by encouraging people to walk the distance between the Octagon and Carisbrook that it’s dispersing people? Because it doesn’t. It concentrates them in a very neat little corridor between the two points, along the way are the pubs which overflow with folk, keeping the alcohol levels topped up all the way into the city centre.

    “We do not need any more alcohol outlets of any sort in N Dunedin” Couldn’t agree more, but then a stadium isn’t going to encourage more drinking. BTW who approved converting old Pizza Huts and partitioning Petrol Stations into alcohol stores – there has to be a level of council compliance in those developments? What was on the corner of Leith and Albany St before that too was a booze shop?

    Your skepticism about the student body being able to behave themselves with alcohol is a little hard to understand. I’m not sure how long Orientations have been going, but I can remember a heck of a lot of them over the last 22 years (I like concerts ok), and I can’t remember many of them, if any, descending into the chaos and disorder seen the other night.

    I’m sorry but we have much bigger fish to fry in this country with regard to the Rugby, Racing and Beer culture. The statistics for domestic violence after rugby tests featuring the All Blacks is a national disgrace. Having been a supporter of Women’s Refuge for over a decade now, the horror stories that emerge from an All Black victory are horrendous enough, let alone an All Black defeat. There is a direct correlation between All Black victories and women and their children seeking shelter in a refuge. As one refuge co-ordinator said to us once, they dread All Black matches, and World Cup defeats are the worst.

    There are hundreds if not thousands of Student occasions which involve massive amounts of alcohol which do not descend into the disorder we saw post Undie 500. Do student balls (of which there are plenty), Graduation weekends and other like massive student celebrations descend into chaos. The short answer is no. Students + Alcohol does not equal a nice little sum of trouble.

    I can remember (and actually found the song sheet just last weekend) coming to Dunedin for the city run and organised Beer Festival which was held annually at the Town Hall. In this day and age of sanctimonious righteousness a little perspective is needed. The whole entire point of the Beer Festival in the Town Hall was to get people completely and utterly smashed, and it succeeded – mighty fine nights.

    The problem with Alcohol in this country is quite possibly the very reason we don’t have tailgate parties. The social aspect of Alcohol and said sporting and cultural events in the rest of the world is seen as part and parcel, but in a much more civil affair. If there were tailgate parties of the likes in the video above, with families and kids, then there sure as hell would be a lot less of the straight out drinking to get drunk fast mentality. I’m going to speculate that for whatever reason the Kiwi male has been unable to shake off the 6 O’Clock swirl. I remember the tent city over at Bathgate park before the big All Black tests. Can’t remember too many families there, but I can remember that most boring of breed the middle aged kiwi male. It was a short and sharp beer fest, in which the aim was to get as drunk as possible then head off to the game and back again.

    I would dearly love to have tailgate parties, take my kids along – BBQs etc then off to the game. But with the current culture of drinking in this country this ain’t going happen.

    Funny – from this distance I now know why the Tailgate party that I attended before the Oakland A’s baseball game was so enjoyable (and I didn’t realise it until tonight), it was the complete family atmosphere that made it. There was a lot of food and sure a lot of beer, but there were also kids and wives, playing games and having normal old fun.

    Actually we do know a lot about controlling crowds and drinking appropriately. Unfortunately not always at the appropriate times too though.

  16. Phil

    It’s one of those strange paradoxes, the connection that some counties, including NZ, have between alcohol and sport. The two SHOULD be at opposite ends of the spectrum, not cohabitating. In New Zealand we are stuck with it as the primary means of financing professional sport. As are many other countries. But it doesn’t make a lot of sense when you step back and look at those two strange bedfellows.

  17. “Burns St, Neville St, or Murrayfield St”

    Ah the lovely surrounds of Burns St. Shut off to all traffic other than foot, hardly conducive to parking up a car and organising tailgate parties. The whole point of a tailgate party is a large open area close to the venue in which a friendly fun atmosphere is created. The last 3 tests I’ve been to, where I didn’t walk from the Octagon to the game, I parked on Bay View Road.

    Imagine rocking up to the security personal at the road blocks on the corner of Hillside Road and Burns St with a BBQ and some deck chairs – just not going to happen in that area.

  18. David

    There’s got to be spaces for over 100 cars in the closed off streets.

    If you got that many, you’d just about double the crowds.

    Come on Paul – you’re being so very negative.

  19. Essential element of a tailgate party (read family fun atmosphere to a big game – as demonstrated elsewhere in the world) is space.

    Space to park the cars close to the event, or Space to set up BBQ’s Gazebos etc. Not going to happen in and around the current Carisbrook – ever! You ever tried backing a car up outside Carisbrook on Burns St before a Super 14 game or test match “excuse me Mr Security guy, could remove that road block I’ve got a BBQ to fire-up” Yeah Right.

    There is however space not only in front of the new stadium, but also on the abundant lands of Logan Park directly across the road. I could also assume that the old Anzac Ave/ Ravensbourne Rd will be closed for major events, creating an even greater pedestrian area.

    If we are serious about changing the drinking habits of folk and creating a greater family atmosphere around big sporting events then we need to start thinking along these lines.

    Also less night games would also be a bloody good start.

    • Elizabeth

      We’ve not just got rugby events to cater for, or so we’re told – for the new stadium. We’re building multipurpose heaven aren’t we. Very easy to get trapped into thinking just rugby, and Malcolm’s pies and drink for lunch there. See we did listen, we took it all in. The new stadium has a fine tiny carpark area for tailgating student lunches.

  20. David

    So we’ll change the drinking habits by having an extra pre-game booze-up?

    We used to have the tent city on Bathgate Park for the Bledisloe Cup, but the new stadium won’t get a Bledisloe – it’s not big enough.

    Logan park is no good. DCC hands out tickets for anyone who parks on the grass – just ask half the people who went to the mini world cup.

    Rugby isn’t such a good place for families or kids these days anyway. There’s a lot of foul-mouthed abuse hurled at the ref and opposition for every little thing, as well as booing at opposition kicks etc.

  21. David

    I note that the planned carpark (as you say Elizabeth – it is very small) – will generate a simlar income to to total forecast profit from all events.

    With parking problems down that way, maybe they can use it as an undercover car park.

  22. Phil

    Saturday afternoon rugby. Was that only a dream ? I think one of the big pluses to daytime rugby, apart from the obvious sunshine and better ball handling, was that it wasn’t a precursor for a drunken night out. MOST people didn’t arrive drunk at 2pm, and MOST people didn’t start a 4:30pm pub crawl. We all went home afterwards. It was a much nicer environment for families, and for people who were actually interested in watching a game of football. God forbid. Now it seems that going to a night rugby game is merely an excuse to spent the night getting legless.

    I haven’t witnessed a full on tailgating environment , like you are talking about, Paul. My concern would be that it could deteriorate into the rather sad blight on society that was affectionally known as “tent city”. It would have to be tightly controlled, and I’m not sure that our local authority would be strong enough to bare their teeth.

    The U.S. examples you showed looked great. And seem to add to the atmosphere. If rugby is going to remain as a number one national sport, I would love to see it moved to a summer sport. To make the most of our summer climate conditions, long summer evenings. Then I could see those sorts of things working. It would look a bit more like those video links. It’s hard to get really enthused about car park entertainment on a dreary damp Saturday evening in July.

  23. Phil

    If I recall correctly, a large percentage of the Wellington Stadium income is derived directly from the weekday hire of their car parking facilities. It’s something in the order of 800,000 dollars per year. I think. With minimal overheads.

  24. David

    Phil – that’s the irony about the stadium. If they simply leveled the site and hired out the carparks they would make MORE profit than from the stadium.

    Not to mention saving ratepayers $10 / year in loan repayments – that would build TWO Chinese Gardens sized projects EVERY year.

  25. “So we’ll change the drinking habits by having an extra pre-game booze-up?”

    Did you not watch the video and comprehend the events being described. Responsible drinking with copious amounts of food, to create a festival atmosphere is the point of a tailgate party.

    “Logan park is no good. DCC hands out tickets for anyone who parks on the grass – just ask half the people who went to the mini world cup.”

    So you are saying that in a couple of years and with forward planning we can’t come up with some sort of compromise situation to create said atmosphere.

    “Rugby isn’t such a good place for families or kids these days anyway. There’s a lot of foul-mouthed abuse hurled at the ref and opposition for every little thing, as well as booing at opposition kicks etc.”

    Depends on where you are sitting in the Audience and isn’t restricted to this sport and this country, but that also doesn’t mean that sport can’t be a family affair once again. I was at a rugby match with my boy when he was 4 and asked the guys near us to limit the language because of my boy, and you know what – they did. The most foul language I ever heard at a sporting ground was in Thurles at a final of the Hurling Competition. Two elderly gentlemen (well into their late 60s) from the very first whistle to the very last punctuated every second ficking word with a ficking expletive.

  26. David

    Last time I took my kids to Carisbrook, we were on our way out with the crowd and a drunkard grabbed my little boy and started him spinning around above his head.

    It wasn’t malicious at all, but the idiot gave us all a fright. It was an odd thing to happen, and probably only a one off.

    What is more regular is trying to avoid people who are vomiting, both in the toilets during the event, and outside afterwards.

    It’s just not a good environment to take kids into, no matter where you sit.

    Will the new stadium be better? Being close to the Uni, there’s a good chance it will be worse.

    And it’s clear from reports that they’ll push to fill spectators with as much booze as possible at the new stadium – they need the money.

  27. Peter

    I very much doubt Carisbrook “features” like urinating on the terraces will be tolerated at the new stadium. It doesn’t happen in places like Westpac Trust Stadium in Wellington (except possibly during the drunk fest that is the rugby 7s). Presumably with a mostly seated environment and adequate provision of toilet facilities on concourses this issue will be relieved – so as to speak. An issue for security staff at any rate.

  28. David

    Peter – in a crowd of pretty drunk people, how good are security guards at picking out and removing those ones who will vomit in the following hour?

    And, will stadium management, desperate for cash, want to curtail alcohol sales – one of their most important income streams?

  29. Peter

    Well David security does remove such individuals at other grounds around the country so I would think Dunedin should be similar.

  30. David

    Yeah right. I’ve seen people totally off their faces and security do nothing. Vomiting – nothing. Throwing drinks – usually nothing.

    Running onto the field or fighting – security are pretty good.

  31. Peter

    That would be at Carisbrook, right?

  32. In the UK for the Premier League football, you run onto a field and you are banned for life. You throw things onto the field you are banned for life.

    As for the drinking, it all goes to the simple fact that in the past we haven’t encouraged a family affair at these events. The tent city didn’t have a bouncy castle and amazing food.

    If you look at the video above on tailgate parties, they are all drinking and having fun – it is possible. It’s also a thing to have the best food, a competition if you will.

    It’s just way more family orientated. At the new stadium we have a chance to start from scratch. Create the environment we want to be surrounded with at big game/event time and make it happen.

    I still get bloody annoyed with the students+alcohol=disorder that people assume at big events. The evidence just isn’t there.

  33. Phil

    On the occasions when I’ve been to Carisbrook in the recent years, I’ve usually sat in the family section. And spent a lot of time observing what is happening around me. Maybe that’s a sad comment on the state of the rugby on offer, or maybe I’m just a closeted peeping tom. Anyway, I’ve noticed all too regularly Mum, Dad and kids sitting at the game. Dad has purchased a 6 pack on entry. About 10 minutes before halftime he has finished his six pack, and is shuffling his way along the row to avoid the half time rush. To purchase another 6 pack for the second half. They look like good, decent families. And to be fair, he usually comes back with a pottle of chips for the family. But I would be pretty safe in saying that Dad wouldn’t normally be sitting at home drinking 12 cans of beer in an hour and a half on a normal evening. Or even 6 cans during that time. This isn’t just a one off, I see it every time I go. And I’m pretty sure it’s not the same family.

    There is something about sitting in a New Zealand football stadium that makes the normal alcohol consumption rules non-applicable. For 80 minutes. That culture has had its day, we’ve progressed as a society. But how we break that last bastion, I really don’t know. Unless it’s by force, with an inhouse alcohol ban. Maybe. Maybe start with no half time top-up sales. Too many people have forgotten why they were supposed to be there in the first place. And maybe it’s why many of those who do remember, choose to stay away.

  34. Richard

    It seems to have escaped notice that parts of Logan Park (towards Harbour Terrace, in particular) have been used for organised car parking on a regular basis – and without any problems – since the University Oval became our main cricket ground.

    Am I the only one here who goes to cricket and has noticed this?

  35. Phil

    I have noticed that also, Richard. Around the Touch Rugby season. I assumed, and maybe wrongly so, that is was all done with prior permission.

  36. David

    Richard, some of the neatest rows of parking I’ve ever seen was on the Oval at the mini world cup – all responsible mums and dads – no spinning wheels or making marks on the grass.

    And all ticketed. It’s a braindead reaction from council (or at least their parking representative).

    Paul – I doubt very much that moving the stadium into the student area will make the stadium more family friendly, or reduce alcohol problems.

    Most likely it will do the opposite.

    • Elizabeth

      Have to say that the sound of glass being broken tonight (George St, between Frederick and Albany) has been plentiful and rapturous since 8pm and is now in a full swing moment. Living mid-block off Pitt St (with an elevated view out over Knox Garden and the campus area to Signal Hill) misses the sounds of The Cook, South Bar and The Bog…

      On a still night, we only get the glass bits, singing, yelling, slanging, vehicle sirens, speeding rough vehicles and motorbikes (not all being chased by the authorities) and rescue choppers – it merges delightfully with TV cop shows and isn’t much of a problem.

      The DCC doesn’t provide any blue bins down there at night for the glass and cans, just lots of empty bus stops as sustainable solutions.

  37. Today’s BCS (College Football’s grand final) Game’s pre-game festivities at the Rose Bowl.,0,2623805.photogallery

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s