Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Northeast, Near North, Camden, Old St. Anthony, University and surrounding neighborhoods
go4guy
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Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby go4guy » March 27th, 2014, 5:42 am

News broke last night by Sid states the University of Minnesota will break ground on a $70 million football practice facility this December. From everything I have been reading, this will be the most expensive football only practice facility in the country. That is HUGE news for any Gopher fan. Shows the school and donors are ready to make football a priority. Word from a few local media sources state the a local Fortune 500 company is donating $35 million for a training table. None of this has been officially confirmed by the U, so take it all with a grain of salt. That being said, the people who are breaking the news are in the know. Thank goodness for Norwood and Lou Nanne.

The basketball practice facility is said to be built soon as well.

This is all a part of the $190 facilities upgrades that Norwood presented sometime last year. Compared to other recent schools, this is a very accelerated timeline as these tend to take much longer. The athletics department will build facilities for each sport as the funds become available. Obviously football and basketball were had the most need right now

Note: I didnt think this should be included in the Basketball Practice Facility because it is part of the entire facilities project. Please feel free to merge.

go4guy
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby go4guy » March 27th, 2014, 10:50 am

Please delete this. Apparently Sid does not know what he is talking about and the Strib Editors are over their heads. Should have seen this coming.

seanrichardryan
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby seanrichardryan » March 27th, 2014, 6:24 pm

Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

Didier
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby Didier » March 27th, 2014, 8:18 pm

I wonder when was the last time Sid had a legitimate scoop.

Drizzay
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby Drizzay » March 28th, 2014, 1:04 pm

Didier wrote:I wonder when was the last time Sid had a legitimate scoop.
I am sure it was prior to him becoming GM of the Lakers

uptown067
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby uptown067 » September 2nd, 2014, 6:30 pm


go4guy
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby go4guy » September 2nd, 2014, 9:00 pm

Great news. Hopefully other big companies follow their lead. Also great is that it appears they are also donating a good chunk of money to the academic and research side.

martykoessel
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby martykoessel » September 3rd, 2014, 9:30 am

Here's some detail about this:
http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/m ... 1409758042

This is a big project projected to be built over 8 years or so, assuming the fundraising goes along nicely, and there are a couple of interesting things to note about it. The basketball practice facility is shown as part of the athletes' village. Previous proposals indicated that it would be built over by Williams Arena. The existing track is gone. The U says it would be relocated to land it already owns, presumable nearby.

Elliot Altbaum
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby Elliot Altbaum » September 3rd, 2014, 3:26 pm

go4guy wrote:Great news. Hopefully other big companies follow their lead. Also great is that it appears they are also donating a good chunk of money to the academic and research side.
I actually worry a great deal about developments like these. Though I care less if companies want to spend their money on naming rights for athletic facilities, I am very nervous of large companies like Land O Lakes dumping a bunch of money into our public university system. There are well documented effects that large companies can have on research outcomes because of their donations. This has become especially true in agriculture. I worry that the many large ag companies in MSP (with questionable sustainability track records) will increase donations and shift the sustainable agriculture research towards aims better suiting their company.

seanrichardryan
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby seanrichardryan » September 3rd, 2014, 3:39 pm

Shouldn't they have built a new dairy research facility instead?
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

grant1simons2
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby grant1simons2 » September 3rd, 2014, 3:42 pm

Lol

kiliff75
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby kiliff75 » September 5th, 2014, 6:53 pm

Elliot Altbaum wrote: I actually worry a great deal about developments like these. Though I care less if companies want to spend their money on naming rights for athletic facilities, I am very nervous of large companies like Land O Lakes dumping a bunch of money into our public university system. There are well documented effects that large companies can have on research outcomes because of their donations. This has become especially true in agriculture. I worry that the many large ag companies in MSP (with questionable sustainability track records) will increase donations and shift the sustainable agriculture research towards aims better suiting their company.
Not to go too far off topic, but I completely agree. From my perspective, it's interesting to see how faculty in my department that are supported by the Minnesota Corn Growers or individual companies come to completely different conclusions than all the studies that were funded by independent federal money (NSF, DOE, USDA). I appreciate the effort, but it's kind of like Exxon Mobil funding climate "research". At least Land O' Lakes isn't as controversial though, so they have that going for them. They may be doing it for the right reasons, I don't know.

Orbi
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby Orbi » September 5th, 2014, 8:44 pm

In that case, those "faculty" have no business being at a university.

grant1simons2
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby grant1simons2 » September 5th, 2014, 8:45 pm

Polaris is sponsoring gopher football, but shouldn't they just be sponsoring the mechanical engineers and marketers? See it's kind of a silly argument because it's sports

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby RailBaronYarr » September 18th, 2014, 7:20 am

http://www.startribune.com/sports/vikin ... y#continue

Buried in that is news that BWBR and RDG have been selected to design the new facilities, with groundbreaking expected next fall.

I just really hope there's an improvement to the frontage of 15th. The existing complex is a giant blank wall. I know mega-athletic facilities don't leave much to urban design, but there's a lot going on in Dinkytown, and specifically this stretch of 15th. Would be nice to have more windows, some nice alcove parklets actually open to the public, maybe even step out of the box and put some low-rent commercial space for locally owned businesses? Anything would be an improvement

go4guy
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby go4guy » September 18th, 2014, 10:07 am

I dont think the plans call for that stretch of 15th to be touched much. The current indoor practice facitlity, which is the only blank wall on 15th, will still serve that same purpose, except for all sports. There wouldn't be any way to incorporate any retail in that building, and windows would not work at all in this building either. The rest of Beirman is set back nicely with good landscaping and plenty of windows.

Side Note: I lived in a house on 15th between 7th and 8th for 3 years during college. (Now torn down for that new complex) and it did kind of suck to walk along that sidewalk at night. Not lit up enough.

exiled_antipodean
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby exiled_antipodean » September 18th, 2014, 11:56 am

I run up and down that street most weekdays and it is a blank wall, but it's actually not too bad with the trees beside it. With the new construction across the street that will add lots more people I'm actually not too worried about 15th.

A protected/separated bike lane is my first wish for that street.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby RailBaronYarr » September 18th, 2014, 12:08 pm

I disagree. The outdoor field is just as bad: http://goo.gl/maps/XTYwp Of the ~3 block stretch (1,180'), 660' of the frontage is blank indoor facility wall or blank concrete wall with ugly chain-link fence rising from it with a solid color tarp to block views. The rest of the complex is curb cuts, brick, a few windows (you can see into the weight room if you walk through the parking access - I used this shortcut to get to the marching band practice field), and then a set-back building with a row of parking+landscaping separating the sidewalk from more brick facade. Nothing along the entire stretch today reflects the high pedestrian/bike usage or the (densifying) residential across 15th, and as you say night time walking is not pleasant due to lack of lighting. That side of the street shouldn't be ignored - many people use it to walk north to houses or apartments in Como.

I know asking for some sort of retail is pie-in-the-sky (I admitted the same in the former basketball facility proposal along 5th a while ago). But there is some opportunity to improve the design against the street, especially since the concep plans did show the indoor facility and outdoor fields moving further east. Windows could be added to a street-adjacent weight room. A space to showcase all sports' trophies/etc could be made open to the public. Undergrouns parking could obviate the need for these spaces, leaving some room for [food trucks/parklet/etc]. Just ideas.

Didier
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby Didier » September 18th, 2014, 7:58 pm

I'd imagine the lobby already is open to the public. CSC has indoor soccer there so the complex does have other uses besides the intercollegiate athletes.

go4guy
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Re: Athletic Department Practice Facilities

Postby go4guy » September 19th, 2014, 6:30 am

Yes, there is a hall at the main entrance which has a bunch of historic items. Or at least it did a few years ago, not sure if that moved to the T Denny Sanford HOF.

The old plans called for the existing indoor practice facility to be moved. But new plans call for that to be repurposed. You cannot add windows to that as they have baseball practice in there. The outdoor practice field is not meant to be open to the street. And doing so would not be in the best interest of the program. It is meant to be closed off.

And how much more bike and pedestrian freindly options do you need? There is a nice big sidewalk running along 15th, and bike lanes on both sides of the street. Not to mention a ton of bike parking at the facility, and the new facility to be built on top of an underground parking garage. Also, bike lanes are the responsibility of the city, not the athletic's department.


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