I am working on updating Gopher The Roses (Gopher football blog) in time for Saturday's kickoff but for the moment thought you might enjoy these photos.
Maybe I was included because of my involvement on the Tailgate Committee (a subcommittee of Gopher Game Day), my volunteer activities on and near campus, my 27 years years as a season ticket holder or maybe because the squeaky wheel made enough noise.
I was not shy about my wanting to get in on a tour and I want to thank my friends at the university and athletic department for including me.
Phil Esten, Associate Athletic Director, gave the tour and to be honest I remember very little of what he said. I was too jacked up, taking pictures and trying to take it all in. Someone said (and I agree) that I was the little kid in the group.
What follows are many of the 100+ photos I took that day:
Outside the stadium
Student entrance and recognition of their contribution
View from east or student end zone. They were finishing up adding the bricks around the interior wall. My buddy Chad and I. Our group. View of the turf, clearly the rubber pellets need to settle in.
Views are from the home side in suites and press box
Views from lounge and suite areas. We were waiting for a beer. Oh yeah, that might be a really, really long wait as even the suites will be “dry”.
I do not remember the number of M that are placed throughout the stadium but it is in the thousands.
Views from inside and then outside in the seating area of the Dairy Queen club seats.
Concourse is 2-3 times wider than the Metrodome and gives an open view to the field.
As we were walking I noticed we were getting close to my section. I asked Phil if I could run down to my seats. He started saying “yes” and I think I was already running down the steps before he finished saying the word. Views from section 140, row 4, seats 13/14.
Press room with all the gadgets including video screens and high speed internet.
The recruiting lounge where visiting recruits and family can grab a meal and hang out. Beats the heck out of an enclosed tent that was used at the Metrodome. Note, there are many, many TV’s throughout the stadium that were donated by Best Buy Corporation.
60+ yard long locker room, largest in the coutry. The design is specific so that there are no walls so that every player can see all of his teammates. In the center is an M above which is a lighted M that is/can be programmed to different songs/music including the Minnesota Rouser. The players have started a tradition, no one can walk on the M.
Outside the stadium: as a way to say thank you to the State of Minnesota each county has a name plate.
Views are from the west end zone or open end.
View is from the top of the University Avenue parking ramp. Note those storm clouds to the east. Hmmm, I think it must be the folks in Madison realizing their time is coming to an end. (Did you really think I would get all the way through without taking a shot at the Badgers?)