Security, Stadium Upgrades On Tap at U of M

Updated: 02/13/2014 7:10 PM By: Tom Hauser

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents took major steps toward big changes on the Twin Cities campus. 

They're authorizing a $6.6 million upgrade of TCF Bank Stadium to accommodate the Minnesota Vikings for two seasons beginning this fall. The Vikings will foot the bill for new turf, a field heating system, winterizing of several areas of the stadium and construction of 1,750 temporary bleacher seats in the west end zone. The work will likely begin in March.

The Board of Regents also OK'd a $4.1 million plan to enhance security on campus after a series of robberies and assaults this school year that resulted in crime alerts. "We had a couple incidents on campus within the past few months that challenge our perception of our safety and that is something we cannot accept," says Pam Wheelock, a university vice president.

The school has already added three campus police officers, bringing the force to 50. They also plan to enhance lighting and add more security cameras on campus.

The money for the new security will come from existing funds that are being reallocated from a facilities repair budget.

Meanwhile, there’s good news for the University of Minnesota when it comes to selling beer and wine at TCF Bank Stadium.

A new report shows the number of alcohol-related incidents at football games is lower now than it was before the stadium sold alcohol. There were 59 incidents in 2013, compared with 77 in 2010.

On Friday, the Board of Regents will talk about continuing alcohol sales after a pilot program expires in July. The plan will also need approval from the legislature.