Huntington Bank Stadium prepares to welcome back full crowd for Gophers game day

The newly-named Huntington Bank Stadium is going from hosting a few hundred fans for games due to COVID-19 restrictions last season to more than 50,000 fans for Gopher Football’s season opener against Ohio State.

The kickoff for the game is at 7 p.m. CT Thursday, September 2 on FOX 9.

"Going from 600 fans to 50,000 fans in a sellout is a completely different way of how you prep things," Brady Buresh, Director of Operations Huntington Bank Stadium, said. "We had to really use our brains and our notes going back to 2019 when we were getting ready for full stadiums."

Buresh and his team had to make sure all "TCF Bank" logos on scoreboards and the field were changed to "Huntington Bank Stadium." He says the changes to the turf are permanent inlays rather than the painted-on logos used when the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota United FC were using the facility.

"It’s been a wild month but it’s been a lot of fun and I think we knocked it out of the park," Buresh said.

Buresh said the number of press passes issued for Thursday's game is the most ever in Gophers history. One reason for that is because Fox Sports’ College Football season coverage kicks off at this game in Minneapolis.

"We’re excited mostly that the crowds are back. You know, we’re able to have fans and students and have the interaction," Amy Burns, Operations Manager for Fox Sports, said.

"It’s going to be a lot of fun and a lot of excitement and, you know, you can definitely feel the energy," Buresh said.