Monday, January 07, 2008

No horseshoe stadium for UND


Forget all of those pretty pictures. Apparently, UND isn't considering building an outdoor, horseshoe-shaped football stadium after all. When I asked JLG Architects - the firm working on the UND athletics master plan - about a specific feature of such a stadium, I was informed that the plan shown above is "an earlier concept that is no longer a part of the plan." So it sounds more like we're talking about a new retractable roof football stadium in UND's future.

I was personally rather fond of the horseshoe plan. I really like the idea of utilizing the existing facade of Memorial Stadium. I'm not sure if the facade would be retained as a part of the indoor plan.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course it won't happen. Judging from that picture, do you think the Grand Forks area is capable of getting 50,000 people to a football game, when they can't even put 6,000 in the Alerus for a playoff game?? It was nothing more than a pretty picture to satisfy the bloated egos of UND alums.

Anonymous said...

Always nice when a stupid ass bison fan joins the conversation. It's getting really childish.

Matthew said...

People making assumptions is funny.






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Campus Dakota - For students, not universities.

Lonnie Laffen said...

My name is Lonnie Laffen and my firm - JLG Architects completed the Athletics Facilities Master Plan for UND. The current plan allots space for a new football stadium back on campus at a future time when the Alerus Center can no longer meet the needs of UND's Football program (20 years?). The plan allows for a new stadium of 25,000 seats with a retractable roof. The recently completed parking facility and a matching counterpart would be directly linked by skywalk. The master plan saves and integrates the existing Memorial Stadium seating section into the new stadium

C. Y. said...

Dang it anyway, someone confuses the issue with "facts!" :-)

Ivyvine said...

Thanks for the clarification Lonnie. I love the idea of a retractable roof!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Laffen,

Have you or any other firm in town done any work on a proposed new GFK terminal building. Would love to see sketches, renderings, if they exist!!

GrandForksGuy said...

I really want to thank Mr. Laffen for responding here on my blog. I'm also very happy to hear that the plan that UND is going with - a retractable roof stadium - will still utilize Memorial Stadium's facade.

Anonymous said...

I love the retractable roof idea, but we all know that when it comes to minimizing costs, that will be the first to go and it will just be become a domed stadium.

Lonnie Laffen said...

Yes - We are also designing the new Airport Terminal as we speak. We are working on different versions to test out the budget right now. I would expect you will see models of this building in about 45 days.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine what is going to happen around here when UND no longer uses the Alerus for Football.

It is going to get ugly, because there is a good number of people that were/are against the Alerus ever being built and now there is going to be plans to eventually have football back on campus. Yikes this is going to be a train wreck. Especially since I don't think that they ever did away with the increased sales tax that was used to fun the Alerus.

Anonymous said...

Also how are we paying for the new terminal?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Laffen,

Thank you. I can't wait to see the terminal concepts. I'm confident that the new structure will not only make an architectural statement but show new carriers that we're serious about supporting GFK.

JG Wentworth said...

The first anonymous poster was right, how would we fill such a stadium when we can't even fill the Alerus for playoffs?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Obsess much? This project could be a decade or more away. You could be run over by a train before then.

Anonymous said...

UND averaged 10,736 for the regular season games last year. As I stated on another thread both SDSU and NDSU have seen gains of 50% in attendance since going Division I. If UND experiences the same growth, attendance would be around 16,000 within 5 years. The Alerus holds roughly 12,500.

Division II playoff format guarantees a team from NSIC (Winona)is in the playoffs. The best NSIC team would have been an average NCC team at best. UND had played Winona three times in the past couple of years and won by a combined 150-9 or something near that.

Why would you gauge a team's attendance capabilities on one playoff game against Winona.