Star Tribune

Teague says facilities plan should be finalized by April, talks about Tubby

Minnesota’s new master facilities plan – with a basketball practice facility as one of the priorities -- should be finalized by April, Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague said at a press gathering on Thursday.

Blog post by: Amelia Rayno

Updated: February 28, 2013 - 4:15 PM

Minnesota’s new master facilities plan – with a basketball practice facility as one of the priorities -- should be finalized by April, Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague said at a press gathering on Thursday.

“I’m very excited for the future,” Teague said. “It’s going to be a fun next five to 10 years.”

A basketball facility is near the top of the list, with Teague again describing the implementation as a “need” and not a “want.”

“I guess it’s been a phenomenon of the last 10 years, and you can say, ‘Are they really needed?’ You do really need them,” Teague said. “Our guys have trouble at times getting into shoot, and our women have trouble at times getting into shoot. There’s a lot of people that use it, our dance team’s in there, or there’s an event that’s in there in the middle of the day, and it limits the availability … I think the money to raise is out there, it’s just a matter of fitting it into plan and moving it forward. So I do feel good about that, but it’s critical.”

Breaking down the total project into costs for individual pieces, like the practice facility, will come down the road. But for now, Teague estimated that the full facilities plan could cost in the $80 million to $125 million range. Teague has said in the past that the full plan could include a basketball practice facility, a new football building, a women's gymnastics facility, a wrestling facility, office enhancements and a center for student-athlete academics and dining.

The university is still looking at exactly where all the money will come from – how much they can feasibly raise privately and where the rest would come from.

“Money doesn’t grow on trees, and I know with the state budgets and things like that, we want to be very smart about what we do,” Teague said. “If it’s too expensive, we’ll have to cut back in areas. But right now with construction costs being pretty favorable, it’s different than it was five years ago, so you’ve got to go in and evaluate it. We need to get what we need and be smart about that. We don’t want to go crazy and spend in a way that’s going to be unwise.”

In that regard, Teague noted that the facilities don’t have to be extravagant, as seems to be the trend in college athletics – not just building something functional, but something with an overload of “flash” as Teague called it, and luxurious amenities.

“We’ve traveled around to a lot of facilities that maybe are a little over the top, and I don’t know if we need to do that,” Teague said. “I think you need to get what you need and have it done in a first-class way, and then after that, your people make all the difference. And if you have great people, combined with the facilities that you need, I think then you’re rolling.”

Once a blueprint is in place, Teague said a tour around the state is planned to help raise money and drum up excitement for the program and the plans.

“Really go around and shake hands and renew, rejuvenate the pride in Gopher athletics,” he said. “I’ll tell you what because one thing I have learned after being here eight months is that it seems like everybody cares about the U and Gopher athletics. You maybe didn’t go here, but your dad went here or your mom went here or your great uncle went here. And it’s the only Division I school in the state. And I’ve been in four states with Divison I schools and it doesn’t compare. And that’s a positive, but it’s something we have to do a better job of reaching out.”

Other notes from today’s press conference:

This post is from the Gold in the Barn blog

| Back to top
Home | Latest news | Sports | Local | Business | Politics | Opinion | Entertainment | Lifestyle | Nation | World | Weather | Daily Deals | Obituaries | Homes | Rentals | Jobs | Movie Finder
| Back to top | | News apps | Help | Manage Subscription | User Check In