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Friday, March 25, 2005

Of Gophers Stadiums

I feel the need to talk more about the subject of a Gophers stadium. As I said a couple days ago, I am generally for this plan. Some people have concerns about the fact that money is going to a stadium as opposed to academics. I completely understand these concerns. In fact, I think that we should do away with Division I athletics altogether. When you mix high-revenue sports with academics, bad things happen: from abysmally low graduation rates to cheating to money scandals. It's not good.

However, this is not an ideal world. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you have the athletics program that you have, not the one you necessarily want. We do have successful sports programs, and they need a place to play. In addition, while it is obviously possible to have TCF give millions of dollars to sponsor "TCF Bank Stadium," you are never going to see them sponsor "The TCF Bank Russian Area Studies Program." Capital costs are separate from operating costs, and it is much harder to find non-public permanent sources for the latter.

Thus, I think we should take what we can get, and this deal does look like a good one, especially when compared to the pro sports stadium deals. It's not ideal, and it doesn't address the real academic needs facing the University, but we can't let the perfect get in the way of the good.


At 9:52 PM, March 28, 2005, Blogger MNPundit said...

This bothers me not for any of the usual liberal reasons, but because I think the Twins should get a stadium before any other MN team as I am a big time Twins fan.

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At 6:23 PM, October 08, 2005, Blogger Tom Naka said...

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