MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- University of Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague unveiled a new vision for Gopher athletics when he presented the Board of Regents with Phase 1 of his sports facilities plan.
The 6 to 8 year plan depends on the U's ability to raise $190 million in private donations to upgrade every phase of every one of its athletic practice facilities.
"We have a lot of passionate people out there and I'm trusting that if we sell a big vision, we will find that we'll have a great response," he told reporters following the meeting.
The bold and ambitious plan calls for new practice facilities for both basketball teams as well as new pads for the gymnastics and wrestling programs.
Teague also plans to replace an aging indoor practice facility for the football team, telling regents that during the winter, the building is used around the clock by all teams. He also says it leaks, around the clock. The $190 million proposal also includes new indoor and outdoor track and field facilities as well as academic and nutrition centers for athletes.
Teague says the facilities will help catch the eyes of top student-athlete recruits. "It's such a great presentation. It shows you mean business. It shows you're committed and it's a nice thing to see when you're coming in with your mom and dad and looking at what you would be experiencing every day," Teague told KARE 11.
The "athletic village" would remain on the same basic footprint on campus. The current buildings, Teague says, are outdated and far inferior when compared to many of the other schools in the Big Ten.
The new Golden Gopher vision has been laid out, now it's time to search for money. The Athletic Director admits there aren't any lead donors that have stepped forward yet, but he says he's gotten several nods from potential donors for the basketball facility.
He says this plan is the start of something big. "More than anything, I wanted to show that we're going to be aggressive and be committed to doing the best we can," he concluded.
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