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  1. #1

    Default Chip: TCF Bank Stadium, at age 10, still comes to life too rarely

    per Chip:

    Has TCF Bank Stadium created that same emotional attachment with Gophers fans? Doubtful. Not yet.

    To be sure, the stadium’s existence has proved false any belief that it’s as simple as “build it and they will come.” If only it were that way.

    Once the gawkers came and left, reality set in: Winning trumps everything. The stadium doesn’t win games or set ticket prices. The Gophers haven’t won consistently enough to create the kind of gravitational pull that jam-packs University Avenue, every corner of campus and every section of the stadium.

    Last season the Gophers had their lowest average attendance (37,914) since 1992. Getting students to walk across campus has been a challenge. Seeing a 50,000-seat stadium half-empty for an important game in November is sobering. Norwood Teague’s scholarship seating plan was an abject failure that caused significant damage in fan relations. I would argue the university is still trying to recover from it.

    We have witnessed The Bank’s full potential on occasion. Air Force in the 2009 stadium opener. TCU in 2015. Wisconsin any year. The stadium comes alive in big moments. There just needs to be more of them.

    The administration has taken measures designed to create a more robust gameday atmosphere. They added beer sales for the general public a few years ago and offered discounted tickets in certain sections this season. Smart moves. A successful season would provide the biggest boost.

    Some factors are out of their control, namely the weather. A miserably cold day tests fan loyalty and affection for an outdoor stadium, but that’s part of the deal, which is easier to say from a warm press box.

    The Bank should be rocking for Thursday’s opener. Night game. New season. Higher expectations after a strong finish to 2018.

    The stadium remains a gem. The atmosphere inside remains a work in progress, but I’d take The Bank over The Dome as a college football showcase every day of the week.

    http://www.startribune.com/tcf-bank-...ely/558147972/

    Go Gophers!!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    So. MN
    Posts
    3,643

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BleedGopher View Post
    per Chip:

    Has TCF Bank Stadium created that same emotional attachment with Gophers fans? Doubtful. Not yet.

    To be sure, the stadium’s existence has proved false any belief that it’s as simple as “build it and they will come.” If only it were that way.

    Once the gawkers came and left, reality set in: Winning trumps everything. The stadium doesn’t win games or set ticket prices. The Gophers haven’t won consistently enough to create the kind of gravitational pull that jam-packs University Avenue, every corner of campus and every section of the stadium.

    Last season the Gophers had their lowest average attendance (37,914) since 1992. Getting students to walk across campus has been a challenge. Seeing a 50,000-seat stadium half-empty for an important game in November is sobering. Norwood Teague’s scholarship seating plan was an abject failure that caused significant damage in fan relations. I would argue the university is still trying to recover from it.

    We have witnessed The Bank’s full potential on occasion. Air Force in the 2009 stadium opener. TCU in 2015. Wisconsin any year. The stadium comes alive in big moments. There just needs to be more of them.

    The administration has taken measures designed to create a more robust gameday atmosphere. They added beer sales for the general public a few years ago and offered discounted tickets in certain sections this season. Smart moves. A successful season would provide the biggest boost.

    Some factors are out of their control, namely the weather. A miserably cold day tests fan loyalty and affection for an outdoor stadium, but that’s part of the deal, which is easier to say from a warm press box.

    The Bank should be rocking for Thursday’s opener. Night game. New season. Higher expectations after a strong finish to 2018.

    The stadium remains a gem. The atmosphere inside remains a work in progress, but I’d take The Bank over The Dome as a college football showcase every day of the week.

    http://www.startribune.com/tcf-bank-...ely/558147972/

    Go Gophers!!

    Spot on article. Most notable the Mega Tongue shot. A giant FU to Norwood; what a disaster that hire was.
    Please consider donating to this site; especially if you are a frequent poster.

  3. #3

    Default

    We've had "Gold Country", Brick by Brick" and "Row the boat".

    But the one, true, undeniable slogan was, is and always has been:

    "Just Win, Baby!"
    --------------

    "7 National Titles...

    ... But Let's Not Get Carried Away".

  4. #4

    Default

    It's not like the dome era was rocking every game either.

    Give folks something to go crazy about and they
    will.



    In a strange way I think the Indiana and Purdue games last year showed it. The attendance wasn't high but the energy and crowd was really into those games. Way different than previous years.

  5. #5

    Default

    The dome definitely was not rocking.
    "Do Not Be Afraid to Be A Legend"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Robbinsdale, MN
    Posts
    2,078

    Default

    The administration has taken measures designed to create a more robust gameday atmosphere. They added beer sales for the general public a few years ago and offered discounted tickets in certain sections this season. Smart moves. A successful season would provide the biggest boost.

    Am I just getting old but hasn't beer been available since Day 0...starting with the Air Force game?
    Row The Boat & Ski U Mah!

    In Fleck We Trust!

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BilldGopher View Post
    The administration has taken measures designed to create a more robust gameday atmosphere. They added beer sales for the general public a few years ago and offered discounted tickets in certain sections this season. Smart moves. A successful season would provide the biggest boost.

    Am I just getting old but hasn't beer been available since Day 0...starting with the Air Force game?
    No, alcohol sales did not take place until 2012, the fourth season in the stadium.

  8. #8

    Default Chip: TCF Bank Stadium, at age 10, still comes to life too rarely

    Quote Originally Posted by A_Slab_of_Bacon View Post
    It's not like the dome era was rocking every game either.

    Give folks something to go crazy about and they
    will.



    In a strange way I think the Indiana and Purdue games last year showed it. The attendance wasn't high but the energy and crowd was really into those games. Way different than previous years.
    The Indiana game was a rare Gopher game where the offense was lighting it up through the air (with a new starting QB) rather than the 3 yards and a cloud of dust we’ve become accustomed to.

    The Purdue game was a complete 180 on defense from the previous several weeks, after firing the coordinator.

    In college football, they like to sell “hope.” Both of those games raised expectations for different reasons.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    11,482

    Default

    TCF is a great venue to take in a game. There isn’t a bad seat in the place.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pompous Elitist View Post
    TCF is a great venue to take in a game. There isn’t a bad seat in the place.
    Correct. Nailed the design for classic college football stadium but with the right modern touches. Love the look and feel, wide concourse.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    New River, AZ
    Posts
    5,767

    Default

    It is a great college stadium. The "atmosphere" is created by the fans, not by some artificial means. All it takes is one thing:

    Winning.
    Gopher football fan since 1924. DNA-wise.

  12. #12

    Default

    Even if the stadium never fills and the team never wins...TCF has made being a gopher fan a thousand times better than the metrodome. It would be awful if the gophers were playing in some IS Bank Stadium look alike in Arden Hills.

    Eventually the dome would’ve come down. If TCF wasn’t built the Vikings would’ve had to play out of state for two years to build on current US Bank Stadium site. Meaning Vikings build somewhere else. If TCF isn’t built no telling where they are playing right now.

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PitinoFan View Post
    The Indiana game was a rare Gopher game where the offense was lighting it up through the air (with a new starting QB) rather than the 3 yards and a cloud of dust we’ve become accustomed to.

    The Purdue game was a complete 180 on defense from the previous several weeks, after firing the coordinator.

    In college football, they like to sell “hope.” Both of those games raised expectations for different reasons.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yup, both those games the crowd was totally looking for "What are they going to do next!?!?!"

    Super hopeful and excited crowd. I don't remember many games like that at TCF. Maybe Jeff Horton's team vs Iowa...

  14. #14

    Default

    Chip approaches this from a astute perspective that few in the media seem to understand.
    Atmosphere is what is important. Attendance is only one component to atmosphere, but it is only part of the story. Just as winning is only part of the story.

    Teague’s scholarship seating plan noticeably killed the atmosphere at TCF. This effect was multiplied by his scandal and its extensive years-long aftermath.

    Anyone who reads this board knew that 2018 would be a tough year for attendance, just due to the fact that the home schedule was lacking band-name opponents. Then, 2017 was the worst season in 6 years and ended with blowout losses against teams that everyone knows MN needs to be competitive against.

    It turned-out Fresno and Northwestern were great teams in 2018. But attendance lags reputation, and these we unmarketable opponents to casual fans.

    If Minnesota wins 8+ games and is competitive in the Big Ten, there will be increased interest next year. But the AD needs to continue to find creative new ways to compete for attention in a local entertainment market that market that gets more crowded and competitive every year.

  15. #15

    Default

    If it's not Iowa or Wisconsin, you simply cannot rely on the opponent to be a draw for Gophers football attendance.

    Do fans really care that much about the other traditional "brands" in the West? NW, Illinois, Purdue. Nor do I think they care that much about teams other than Michigan in the East. Maybe Ohio St because they're just that good. Similarly, maybe Nebraska because of their tradition (in another conference).


    You can try to make the atmosphere as good as it possibly can be. But at the end of the day, the two major components to attendance for the season are going to be: winning and weather/day/time. You just can't get around them. And last year we got pretty much royally screwed on those fronts. Blazing hot mid-day Miami OH, cold, rainy Friday night Indiana, freezing cold Purdue and NW. Other three were good, though the Thurs night pre-Labor Day game is tough for some people. At least it's 8pm this year, instead of 6pm.
    Last edited by Gophers_4life; 08-25-2019 at 10:26 AM.

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