MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - In just over a month, Gopher football is coming back to campus, something exciting for fans – and for the university’s financials.
For Gopher superfans like fourth grader Megan Wagner – who has formed a relationship with the Gopher football team and Coach P.J. Fleck through the U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital - the return of football is the return of watching an inspirational team.
“They are basically my second family, and I was excited to hear that they get to play,” she said.
Former Gopher and NFL star Darrell Thompson explains that for the players, this last minute scheduling change in the season means jumping right back into the game without the normal preparation.
“I don’t think it’s going to be really difficult to play in 25 or 30 days for these young men. I think they’re champing at the bit to play this abbreviated system,” Thompson said.
Meanwhile, Lou Nanne, a major fund-raiser for U of M sports and a Minnesota sports legend himself, explained that the return of Gopher football is going to mean big money for a program facing millions in shortfalls.
“This is a big day for the University of Minnesota,” he said. “You’re going to have programming, and you’re going to have advertisers, and you’re going to have people watching the game. That’s where the TV money comes in.”
The revenue will at least put a dent in the university’s $75 million deficit.
“It’s going help tremendously. It’s a big revenue help, but there’s still going to be a shortfall,” Nanne said.