UPDATE (3/27, 2:30 p.m. ET): Lou Nanne, chairman of the Gophers facility fundraising project, told 1500 ESPN that the Star Tribune report is "totally incorrect."
"I'm out of town and I read this morning about the erroneous report about having plans to break ground in December for a $70 million facility. That's totally irresponsible," Nanne said. "There are no plans to break ground and the facility that we're looking at is not remotely close to 70 million (dollars). We want to get that word out because that is just totally, totally incorrect."
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It has been nearly 30 years since Minnesota’s current indoor practice facility, the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex, was built in 1985. The school thinks it’s time for an upgrade.
According to Sid Hartman of the Minnesota Star Tribune, ground will be broken in December for a new $70 million football practice facility. It will include coaching offices and “other amenities for the program” in addition to the indoor practice fields.
The Gibson-Nagurski Complex was built for $5.5 million when Lou Holtz was still leading the Gophers, but the building is too outdated, and as Hartman puts it, it “simply can no longer serve the needs of the team.”
Hartman writes that with the ceilings only being 55-feet high, kickers and punters have had trouble practicing effectively. Compared to other facilities around the Big Ten, it’s just not up to par.
Northwestern has already taken the steps to finalize its plans for a new practice facility, and now the Gophers are following suit.
Schools like Nebraska, Ohio State, and Penn State all have top-notch facilities, and that is a big selling point in recruiting these days. This is another stepping stone for Minnesota to keep up its recent momentum from last year’s eight-win season.
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