P.J. Fleck has a lofty expansion goal for TCF Bank Stadium
P.J. Fleck wants to make all things elite at Minnesota.
The Gophers’ first-year head coach hasn’t been shy about wanting to take Minnesota to the upper echelon of the college football landscape. Getting the program to B1G Championship games and Rose Bowls is the goal for Fleck.
Apparently Fleck has another long-term goal at Minnesota. Well, it’s not very long-term.
Fleck said at a speaking arrangement at the Minnesota Football Coaches Clinic on Friday night that he’d love to see TCF Bank Stadium make a major jump in capacity in the next few years.
“You see, we have 55,000 seats in our stadium, but my plan already three years down the road is to expand it to 85,000,” Fleck told an audience of high school and youth football coaches via shamasportsheadliners.com.
Fleck’s vision is that the Gophers would add 30,000 more seats to TCF Bank Stadium, which would put them in between the likes of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium (86,047 capacity) and Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium (80,321 capacity).
Even Iowa, which consistently sells out games, has a capacity of 70,585 at Kinnick Stadium.
Fleck said that in order to make that jump, Minnesota will have to get fans that don’t care about football to commit to regularly attending games.
The Gophers ranked 10th in the B1G and 54th nationally in attendance in 2016. Minnesota averaged 43,814 fans per home game, which was a 16-percent drop from the previous year. No B1G team had as steep of a year-to-year drop as Minnesota.
In other words, if Fleck is going to get his wish, it’ll take a quick, drastic turnaround.