Board of Regents vote scheduled for $166M Athletes Village

Published 10:25 am Friday, October 9, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota plans to break ground next month on its $166 million Athletes Village, which will include updated practice and training facilities for football and basketball teams that officials say are necessary to keep the school competitive in the Big 10.

A Board of Regents committee unanimously approved the project Thursday. The full board is expected to give final approval on Friday morning.

“I think we as a university owe it to our student athletes,” board chairman Dean Johnson said. “We clearly have third-rate facilities. We’re not competitive at all.”

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The project has been delayed for months over concerns about costs — the initial price tag was $190 million — and that it could violate gender-equity laws.

The university has raised about $76.5 million from donors. Nearly $90 million will be borrowed and repaid by the athletics department. The university usually secures 80 percent of fundraising before starting construction, but not this time. President Eric Kaler says the school wants to break ground before it freezes for the winter.