Updated: 02/13/2014 10:56 AM
Created: 02/13/2014 7:14 AM KSTP.com
By: Jennie Olson
A lot of crime has been reported on and around the University of Minnesota campus lately, and on Thursday a Board of Regents committee will meet to talk about how to make the campus safer.
Everything from security cameras to improved lighting will be discussed.
The Minnesota Vikings playing at TCF Bank Stadium next season and the opening of the new light rail line this summer are two huge motivators for the university to upgrade security. Both will draw large crowds that will make the campus a perfect target for crime.
The U of M security upgrades include adding 50 more cameras to the 1,700 cameras that are already on campus. They will also be fixing dull and burnt-out lights and change campus buildings over to automatic locks for key card access.
On Thursday, the Board of Regents will discuss how to pay for the changes – pulling money from other repair and replacement projects and investing it in public safety enhancements.
The regents will also consider whether alcohol sales should continue during college events. Currently, beer and wine is sold at TCF Bank Stadium and Mariucci and Williams Arenas as part of a two-year experiment. A recent report shows alcohol sales didn’t create any significant increase in calls to police.
The report recommends expanding sales in the stadium but keeping alcohol in Mariucci and Williams restricted to premium seating.
Regents will also get an update on just how much is being brought in from liquor sales.
TCF Bank Stadium Upgrades
The University of Minnesota Board of Regents is also taking a look at a plan to upgrade TCF Bank Stadium.
The improvements are needed for the Minnesota Vikings to temporarily move in while their new stadium is built. Originally, it was expected to cost $3.5 million to upgrade TCF Bank Stadium, but now it’s expected to cost about $6.6 million because the cost of heated turf wasn’t properly factored in.
The Vikings will reimburse the university for all of the improvements.