Venue News: University of Minnesota Preps TCF Bank Stadium for Vikings, Devotes $190M to On-Campus Sports Projects

Compiled by Karen Hogan, Associate Editor, Sports Video Group

The University of Minnesota has selected Mortenson Construction as the contractor for $4.5 million in upgrades at TCF Bank Stadium that are needed to get the stadium ready for the Minnesota Vikings to play there in 2014 and 2015. Work on the new Vikings stadium will begin in October, but the Vikings will continue to play at the Metrodome through the end of the 2013 season. The Dome then will be demolished to allow for construction to proceed onto that site, necessitating that the Vikings play elsewhere until the new stadium opens in 2016…

…The University of Minnesota has put a practice facility for the men’s and women’s basketball programs in a priority group of sports projects on campus estimated to cost $190 million. Athletic director Norwood Teague presented the plan Wednesday to the Board of Regents. He said the money would be raised solely by private funding. The original price tag Teague mentioned was between $80 and $120 million. But this is an ambitious project, which also includes new academic, dining and nutrition areas for athletes, an upgraded football practice facility and new space for the women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and wrestling teams. This is only the first phase of the plan, with a completion target of six to eight years…

…Those at the Hunt Construction Group, which originally broke ground on Rupp Arena in 1974, have a saying: “You dream it. We build it.” As of Wednesday, Lexington’s wishes to renovate the home of University of Kentucky basketball and the adjacent Lexington Center are halfway there. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, and officials from the Lexington Center announced that award-winning architecture firm NBBJ, along with Hunt Construction, will redesign the two downtown staples. Specific details for Rupp Arena’s design weren’t revealed…

…The San Jose Sharks have announced a name change to their home arena from HP Pavilion to the SAP Center. SAP, the software company, announced it will bring breakthrough technology to the arena. In a joint announcement, SAP and the Sharks said the technology, will be “designed to elevate the arena as a shining example of Silicon Valley innovation.” Some of that technology the Sharks will aim at will be to provide real-time news alerts to fans, player and team insight and analysis, purchase of concessions and merchandise from mobile devices, and also to reward fans with targeted promotions.

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