TCF Bank Stadium
Architect: HOK Sport, Inc.
|The TCF Bank Stadium is new for the University of Minnesota Gophers. The facility is a traditional horseshoe-style college stadium that retains many of the design elements of Minnesota’s original Memorial Stadium and consists of base panels around the entire memorial wall, 87 county signs representing the counties in Minnesota, 37 small 28-foot arches, 3 medium 40-foot entrance arches, 2 large 50-foot stadium end arches, stadia end panels which cover the stairways, and a plaza Veteran’s Tribute and sign for the Tribal Nations Tribute, a total of 850 pieces and weighing almost 3 million pounds.
Cast stone was used to accentuate the key features of the stadium, including the county signs, arches and stairways. The contrast of the white cast stone against the red brick causes it to really stand out and highlights the versatility of the product. The beautiful county signs and huge arched entranceways are what visitors and students will remember most about this new state-of-the-art stadium.
The elliptical shape of the entire stadium created several unique molding challenges. All of the memorial wall base panels and the eighty-seven county signs were radiused. The small, medium and large arches were compound radiused, and the medium and large arches were all double-sided. In order to ensure a perfect fit, mold-making artisans temporarily bridged two large beds together and built the entire upper portion of the arches and then segmented it into several pieces. All molds were done in wood by veteran craftsmen and in some cases took up to four weeks to build. The university and architect’s desire to create the look of “old” out of something new was successfully accomplished with the use of timeless cast stone.