2009 SE. University Ave.
Minneapolis Minnesota 55455United States
Opened in 2009, the Gophers' LEED-certified home packs in more than 50,000 fans and honors the school's Big 10 past with a new on-site hall of fame.
The brick facade recalls the University of Minnesota's former on-campus home, Memorial Stadium, which held its last game in 1981, and a mason who'd helped build that facility participated in laying the cornerstone of this new one. But that is where the similarities end at this $288.5 million football stadium. It's big -- boasting the biggest high-definition scoreboard at a Midwestern university, the biggest locker rooms and the ability to expand to 80,000 seats. Most of the seats have permanent backs; end zone seats are bleachers. The concourses are wide and welcoming, and banners honor storied Minnesota football players and championships. The stadium also hosts concerts and events, including U2 in July 2011, which was the biggest rock concert the Twin Cities had held in 30 years. Some out-of-town patrons grumbled about not being able to buy alcohol at the event (it's not allowed because the stadium is located on a college campus), but plenty of restaurants and bars nearby in the Dinkytown neighborhood are happy to fill that gap. Parking, too, isn't easy to come by on campus, but bus shuttles run from various points throughout the Twin Cities to bring fans here for big games and events. Stadium security appeared to run like a well-oiled machine during our visit, despite a nighttime downpour that drenched the 58,000 fans and lightning that threatened to end the show early. We would definitely go back for more fun at TCF.