Gophers football to host 2021 Spring Game May 1 at TCF Bank Stadium

Fans and players should expect a wintry mix and some winds Saturday as the Gophers face the Wisconsin Badgers.

The University of Minnesota football team will hold its Spring Game on May 1 at TCF Bank Stadium, and in correlation with state COVID-19 guidelines, up to 10,000 fans will be allowed to attend, team officials announced on Thursday.

The Gophers were about a week into their 2020 spring workouts when the NCAA shut down all spring sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s Spring Game will be televised live on Big Ten Network.

It'll be the first Spring Game at TCF Bank Stadium in three years. Last year's was canceled, and the 2019 Spring Game had to be moved to the team's indoor practice facility due to heavy snow and icy conditions earlier in the week, which made TCF Bank Stadium unplayable.

The annual scrimmage will put Maroon against Gold, with the winning team taking Goldy’s Cup and the top player earning the Sid Hartman Spring Game MVP. Tickets to the game will be free, but those planning to attend will need to claim them in advance in groups of two or four. All tickets will be digital.

Within about two hours of releasing tickets, Gophers team officials announced all 10,000 had been claimed and fans hoping to get them should put themselves on a wait list.

Fans in attendance will be required to wear face coverings at all times, and tailgating will not be allowed on campus property or on campus parking lots. 

The Gophers are also bringing back a pair of traditions along with the Spring game that they've had during P.J. Fleck's tenure with Minnesota. The team will host a diaper drive, where fans are encouraged to bring diapers and drop them at the Tribal Nations Plaza, outside West Plaza. The diapers will be donated to the Diaper Bank of Minnesota, and will go to families in need.

Fans are also encouraged to bring decorated oars to the Spring Game. They will be added inside TCF Bank Stadium and hung in the tunnel the Gophers use to go from their locker room to the field on game day. The oars are one of the last things players and team staff wee before taking the field.

Minnesota went 3-4 last season, having two games canceled as the team dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak in the middle of a modified season.