Minnesota receives $6 million donation for stadium

May, 21, 2009
5/21/09
3:04
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Minnesota announced Thursday that it received a $6 million donation from banking mogul T. Denny Sanford, which helps the school meet its fundraising goal for the new TCF Bank Stadium. 

Sanford, a 1958 Minnesota graduate, tried to have his name on the new stadium and offered to build one in 2003. But negotiations broke down and Minnesota eventually went with TCF Corporation as its lead partner. 

Instead, Sanford put Minnesota over the top for its $86 million fundraising goal. He will have an athletic Hall of Fame in the stadium named in his honor. 

"I cannot think of a better person to put us over the top than T. Denny Sanford," Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi said in a statement. "He and I have long shared a vision to bring Gopher football back to campus and I am thrilled that he is going to be part of this outstanding facility. I am also proud to work in a community where people feel so strongly about partnering with our athletics program." 

The $6 million marks the largest personal gift Minnesota has received for the stadium project.

"Gopher athletics have been close to my heart since I attended my first Gopher football game with my dad at the age of eight," Sanford said in a statement. "The golden age of Gopher football occurred on this campus and I look forward to seeing this program once again achieve great heights."

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