Plans Announced for $13 Million U of M Track and Field Facility

Plans Announced for $13 Million U of M Track and Field Facility Photo: University of Minnesota Board of Regents Documents

September 09, 2016 03:03 PM

Plans for a new track and field practice facility at the University of Minnesota were discussed Thursday at the Board of Regents meeting.

The university’s former track and field practice facility was displaced because of the construction of the new Athletes Village Complex, so the U’s men’s and women’s teams have been practicing at Hamline University.

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The plans for the Athletes Village led to a federal civil rights investigation into gender discrimination allegations because many of the athletes who were forced to relocate are women.

University documents show the new facility will be located at the Athletes Village site on the East Bank at the spot of the Recreation Sports Bubble and softball field, which will be relocated to the intersection of 25th Avenue Southeast and Sixth Street Southeast.

The facility is projected to cost $13 million, and the relocation costs are expected to cost $6 million, according to university documents.

The new track will be used for javelin, shot put, discuss/hammer throw, long-triple jump and steeplechase. The facility will also have restrooms, a press box, concessions and 4,000-seat-capacity stands.

University documents say the new track will “strengthen the University’s commitment to track and field and provide opportunities for the University to host competitive events.”

The project was not originally included in the fiscal year 2017 Annual Capital Budget because university officials were still determining the scope of the project, so an amendment is needed to add the project into the budget. However, university documents say President Eric Kaler has recommended approving the amendment and proceeding with the construction.

If approved, the Recreation Sports Bubble is expected to be relocated by November 2017 and the track is expected to be finished in August 2018.

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Jennie Lissarrague

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