Students hoping to tailgate at nearby parking lots for Gophers football games this season will have to put in a $1,000 donation if they want to purchase the $140 parking pass.
Season-long parking passes for TCF Bank Stadium will be available to all 2009 season ticket holders. With many lots already sold out, the closest fans can purchase the $1,140 pass is Lot 37, which is located behind Ridder Arena.
Ticket holders who choose not to purchase season parking passes for Lot 37 can purchase a season parking pass at the Oak Street Ramp for $105, or at the State Fairgrounds in St. Paul for $70. The State Fairgrounds lot will also be available for single game parking at $10 per vehicle.
Lots have been organized into four different zones based on their proximity to the stadium. Parking passes for lots in zone one, those closest to the stadium, have already sold out and required a minimum $2,500 donation.
“A lot of our premium season ticket holders have parking passes there because of the donations they’ve made to the stadium,” Brent Holck, Minnesota’s athletic ticket manager, said. “I assume the majority of students don’t want to pay that.”
While most lots in zone two have also sold out, there remain several spaces still available in Lot 37, requiring the $1,000 donation.
While he is unsure of whether or not students would be able and willing to donate the $1,000, Holck said it was good to give them the option.
“If they do have that money it might be of interest to them to be close to the stadium and have a tailgate lot that’s close to the stadium,” Holck said.
Requiring donations is a common practice among Big Ten schools, he said. Donation levels were set based on studies of other schools and how they allocated their parking lots.
“As far as those donation levels, those will probably stay here for at least a few years but they may go up depending on the demand,” Holck said.
Donations will support athletic scholarships and the general operating budget at the athletic department.
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