Chip: Time for Williams Arena teardown? Not if we get more Gophers games like Tuesday's.

Gopher_In_NYC

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I guess I would ask why no one around you buys concessions? There are plenty of folks at concessions for the games I have been at this year, actually busy with line dividers at the more popular stands.
They sneak them in?
 

Go4POV

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I guess I would ask why no one around you buys concessions? There are plenty of folks at concessions for the games I have been at this year, actually busy with line dividers at the more popular stands.
I could be wrong on this, but I think a lot of people with high ticket priority, long time ticket holders, are older. We tend not to buy “ junk food,” hot dogs, pizza, ice cream, popcorn, etc. Most people that I see in the lines tend to be younger, maybe even people who don’t attend as often. IDK. Personally, I rarely buy any concessions, wouldn’t no matter what they were, just don’t want to be bothered with eating during a game. No place to set stuff down comfortably, etc.
 

disco

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As a long time season ticket holder, I have sat in various sections and attended games with low attendance and sellouts (yes, a long time ago). The people who sit around us are also season ticket holders, of course. Rarely does anyone purchase anything from concessions, so I don’t think upgrading concessions matters much. Nor do I hear griping about the bathrooms. It would be nice to have somewhat more comfortable and larger seating space.
I'm going to be brutally honest here. Sorry.

The long time season ticket holders are not who the prospective improvements are for. People who spend no money on concessions are not who the prospective improvements are for. Upgrading the bathrooms so you don't have to pee in a trough is not aimed at old timers like yourself.

These improvements are intended to bring the facility up to modern standards to compete with other entertainment venues in the Twin Cities, most of which are vastly nicer, and provide a vastly nicer overall entertainment experience for the customer. Especially in a market saturated with options including, but not limited to, sports.

In the end, this is entertainment, and is competing against other forms of entertainment for peoples' disposable income. If the overall experience is lacking, people will spend their money elsewhere. This may well be felt when UST opens their brand new arena in a couple years.
(and I still maintain they will be able to pay basketball players more in NIL than the Gophers at that time.) I know a couple college hoops and long time Gopher fans who bought Tommie season tickets so they get priority in the new building, because it's going to be a nicer experience than the Barn.

Those who remember some games being played at the Target Center (I think they were ACC/Big Ten Challenge games) will remember that the atmosphere was much different and, IMO, muted. I am opposed to a tear down and new arena. I think a modest makeover is all that is needed.

Target Center is a subjectively bad building for anything. Even with the improvements to concessions and seats, it's still so poorly designed that even though the Wolves are right now one of the best teams in the NBA, I think they're still tarping off the upper deck behind the baskets (not positive on that - I haven't been this season) because the seats are so bad.
 

disco

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And to add to what I posted above, I don't think it should be torn down, but I absolutely think it should be gutted and retrofitted if possible. Modern bathrooms, modern atrium/concession area built on the south side of the building, no more bench seats except in the student section, turn the upper deck seats behind the basket into either suites or a party deck, and put the windows back up in the rafters so there's natural light like Hinkle Fieldhouse has.

And keep the raised floor and re-hang the Clem-era banners.
 

Go4POV

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You don’t see it at all as a problem that “no one buys concessions”??

Also, can supply create demand?

Just playing devil’s advocateno one buys concessi

You don’t see it at all as a problem that “no one buys concessions”??

Also, can supply create demand?

Just playing devil’s advocate here.
I did not say “no one buys concessions.” Obviously, some people do. I said that the long time season ticket holders who sit around us tend not to. But you seem to miss my point, which was that upgrading the arena to provide better concessions seems unnecessary.

And no, I would not see it as a problem if Bball fans tended not to buy concessions. I’ve had tickets since Muss, and I’ve maybe bought something ten or fifteen times when I came direct from work. I think many people don’t care that much about concessions, but I could be wrong. I’m old. I don’t know what younger people want, I’ll concede that. 🙂
 



disco

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This is the way. Blow it up, build new.

10k is enough seats. Pretty much all new arenas built after 2000 that aren't shared with a NBA team are around this size or smaller.
Anyone know what the lower bowl holds as-is? I'd be interested to know that, and what it would hold if you replaced the benches with seat backs in all but the student section.
 

Zeppelin Gopher

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As a long time season ticket holder, I have sat in various sections and attended games with low attendance and sellouts (yes, a long time ago). The people who sit around us are also season ticket holders, of course. Rarely does anyone purchase anything from concessions, so I don’t think upgrading concessions matters much. Nor do I hear griping about the bathrooms. It would be nice to have somewhat more comfortable and larger seating space.

Those who remember some games being played at the Target Center (I think they were ACC/Big Ten Challenge games) will remember that the atmosphere was much different and, IMO, muted. I am opposed to a tear down and new arena. I think a modest makeover is all that is needed.
I'm totally with you on keeping and renovating the Barn, but that bit about nobody buying concessions simply isn't true.

Especially now with beer sales being available (thankfully). There are lines at pretty much every game.
 

disco

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I'm totally with you on keeping and renovating the Barn, but that bit about nobody buying concessions simply isn't true.

Especially now with beer sales being available (thankfully). There are lines at pretty much every game.
Yep. People expect the same level of concessions and experience they are going to get at the Xcel, Target Center, Target Field, etc. As I said, this is a form of entertainment, competing with other forms of entertainment in a crowded marketplace. You might be able to get away with a lesser experience in say, Iowa City or Lincoln, where options are much more limited, but this is one of the disadvantages to being located where the U is.

And I'm no longer one of those people who thinks an urban setting is a huge disadvantage in recruiting, attendance, etc., but it does come into play in terms of discretionary entertainment dollars to spend.

I know people who truly believe "you should only go to a game to watch the game itself and nothing else matters." But in reality, that is not the market today.
 
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Go4POV

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I'm totally with you on keeping and renovating the Barn, but that bit about nobody buying concessions simply isn't true.

Especially now with beer sales being available (thankfully). There are lines at pretty much every game.
I rarely leave my seat once the game starts, so I wouldn’t know about the lines🙂. I will say, though, that the beer line before the Badger game was particularly long with perhaps 2000 WI fans in the arena.
 





howeda7

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This is the way. Blow it up, build new.

10k is enough seats. Pretty much all new arenas built after 2000 that aren't shared with a NBA team are around this size or smaller.
The other option is a shared arena with the Wolves but no one really wants that.
 

MaxyJR1

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The Barn is, roughly, the same age as Ohio Stadium, Michigan Stadium, Camp Randall and Memorial Stadiums in both Champaign and Lincoln.

I don't see anyone clamoring to tear those cathedrals down.

The Barn is Minnesota Basketball. Without it, we're just another mediocre Big Ten team in a cookie cutter arena. Tearing it down would be Metrodome 2.0.

Renovate, update, and get the old girl situated for the next 50 years.
I wouldn't compare basketball arenas to football arenas, but I get your point. It's all in the eye of the beholder.

I've been to two games this year. WI, I was in a suite. 8 seats and 2 folding chairs was seating for 10. Brutal and tight for getting around and even sitting. You do get access to the club as well, but I didn't get there. View is good. Getting to your seats is a maze if you don't wait for the elevator.

Went to the MSU game and sat center court row 23 in the last seat back seat. Anything further back is obstructed. The TV screens to help those with obstructed view weren't working. Not sure if that was a Peacock thing or if they don't work for all games. I'm 6'4" and have bruised shins from the seat in front of me digging into them. Luckily the person in front of me could move over a seat so my knee didn't keep hitting the back of their head.

I'm ok with renovation but agree that it needs to be a full renovation and spend the proper $$ for the next 50+ years. Otherwise start new.

Place need to be updated to today's seating sizes and standards.
 

howeda7

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And to add to what I posted above, I don't think it should be torn down, but I absolutely think it should be gutted and retrofitted if possible. Modern bathrooms, modern atrium/concession area built on the south side of the building, no more bench seats except in the student section, turn the upper deck seats behind the basket into either suites or a party deck, and put the windows back up in the rafters so there's natural light like Hinkle Fieldhouse has.

And keep the raised floor and re-hang the Clem-era banners.
I'm not an engineer or anything, but at some point "gut it but don't tear it down" becomes more trouble than its worth and probably costs just as much. I would much rather build a replica like was done with Yankee stadium, than do a "gut it" renovation like was done with Soldier Field (which is now already being replaced less than 20 years later).
 

Zeppelin Gopher

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I'm not an engineer or anything, but at some point "gut it but don't tear it down" becomes more trouble than its worth and probably costs just as much. I would much rather build a replica like was done with Yankee stadium, than do a "gut it" renovation like was done with Soldier Field (which is now already being replaced less than 20 years later).
The New Yankee Stadium is pretty much universally hated, so probably not the best example for your argument.
 

howeda7

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The New Yankee Stadium is pretty much universally hated, so probably not the best example for your argument.
Why is that?

From a "keep the look/feel of the old Yankee stadium" perspective they certainly pulled it off as well as any huge renovation would have done. I know the tickets are ridiculously expensive etc. but that's a separate issue.
 

Golden Shower

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If the team is good, the atmosphere will be good regardless of the building. The barn is almost 100 years old. Why would we invest more money into it? Time to tear it down and build a new house and incorporate the raised floor and close seats to the court. Those are the only things that makes it unique. A new building would bring better concourses, better restrooms, better suites, better seats and just a better experience.
 



Go4POV

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You sit the whole time?
Hahaha. No. I stand for the rouser, of course, and stand to cheer, for the anthem, etc. Also stand and chat with people I know near my seats at halftime. To be more precise, I should have said that I don’t leave my seat area.
 

NateDawgUM

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I wouldn't compare basketball arenas to football arenas, but I get your point. It's all in the eye of the beholder.

I've been to two games this year. WI, I was in a suite. 8 seats and 2 folding chairs was seating for 10. Brutal and tight for getting around and even sitting. You do get access to the club as well, but I didn't get there. View is good. Getting to your seats is a maze if you don't wait for the elevator.

Went to the MSU game and sat center court row 23 in the last seat back seat. Anything further back is obstructed. The TV screens to help those with obstructed view weren't working. Not sure if that was a Peacock thing or if they don't work for all games. I'm 6'4" and have bruised shins from the seat in front of me digging into them. Luckily the person in front of me could move over a seat so my knee didn't keep hitting the back of their head.

I'm ok with renovation but agree that it needs to be a full renovation and spend the proper $$ for the next 50+ years. Otherwise start new.

Place need to be updated to today's seating sizes and standards.

Why wouldn't you compare them? The main reason that basketball arenas are newer and football stadiums are older is that older venues tended to be quite small. Without a roof, it was much easier to extend football stadium to capture the bigger seating requirements as the 20th century wore on.

Minnesota built a big ole barn very early on and didn't need to replace it with something bigger.

Otherwise they're just buildings. Plenty of the problems that exist with The Barn exist in the older football stadiums in the Big Ten.

I just don't agree with replacing a seasoned, old, well-loved building. Renovate it into the 21st century, but save the charm and the history.
 

short ornery norwegian

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I can see both sides of the argument. But, in my experience, remodeling an older building can often wind up being more expensive than building new.

and these days, an older building often doesn't have the technical infrastructure that fans expect.

like it or not, a brand new building means brand-new heating, lighting, air handling, mechanical systems, plumbing and wiring - including fiber-optic high-speed internet and wi-fi. it is a heck of a lot easier to upgrade technology in a new building as opposed to retro-fitting an old building.

not to mention seating designed for modern bodies. (hey, I'm 5'6" and weigh 138 lbs - I can fit anywhere - but most people are bigger than I am)

so those are all factors that have to be considered.

but again, we're talking about the U of MN - and the U of MN board of regents.

if they have to choose between option A and Option B - and option B costs $50-million more than option A, which one do you think the regents will choose?
 

PMWinSTP

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Exactly how I became a fan. Went with my hs basketball team to a game against Purdue in the early 90’s (91 or 92 I believe) and sat in the upper deck behind a hoop in a semi obstructed seat and loved every second of it.
I saw my HS play there a few years back and it was fabulous with the pep bands and such.
 



Ope3

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And it wouldn't be on campus, I assume.

No, NBA needs a bigger arena. College should be smaller, in a market where you have NBA NHL and a lot of concerts and shows.

Georgia Tech dome/arena seats 8600. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCamish_Pavilion
Even NBA arenas are trending smaller.

FiServ in Milwaukee capacity is 17,385 where as the one it replaced, Bradley Center had 18,717. The Clippers are going to move into the Intuit Dome, 18,000 capacity, down from 19,000+ at Staples.

I could envision a joint Timberwolves-Gophers project, something along the lines of the Moody Center in Austin, TX which seats 10,763 for the Longhorns, but can be expanded to 16,000 for NBA games, such as when the Spurs have played there.

State Fairgrounds would be a potential site.

It's a longshot. Just throwing it out there as a possibility.
 

goldengophers

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Even NBA arenas are trending smaller.

FiServ in Milwaukee capacity is 17,385 where as the one it replaced, Bradley Center had 18,717. The Clippers are going to move into the Intuit Dome, 18,000 capacity, down from 19,000+ at Staples.

I could envision a joint Timberwolves-Gophers project, something along the lines of the Moody Center in Austin, TX which seats 10,763 for the Longhorns, but can be expanded to 16,000 for NBA games, such as when the Spurs have played there.

State Fairgrounds would be a potential site.

It's a longshot. Just throwing it out there as a possibility.
Ummm, I'm going to assume trolling.
 





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