By Erin George
The wishes of many Gopher football fans came true Saturday, September 12, 2009 as the opening of TCF Bank Stadium brought football back to campus. The weather was pretty much perfect, and the stadium was a sea of maroon and gold. The Gophers defeated the Air Force Falcons (20 to 13), and the University of Minnesota Archives and Special Collections logo appeared on approximately 5,100 square feet of high-definition video display.
The large-scale recognition came courtesy of University Archives’ work to provide visuals from our collections for a series of “Golden Moments” videos to be shown during home football games. The jumbotron shout-out was also a nod to the just-launched digital exhibit Brickhouse: Memorial Stadium, 1924-1992.
With the Stadium’s demolition in 1992, memories of its revered place on campus were fading, for some.
As the exhibit explains, “In 2008, while watching enthusiasm grow as TCF Bank Stadium came to life, an inspired group of University Libraries staff explored how the rich archival resources (of University Archives) and the digital technology expertise of the Libraries could be channeled to capture and share the history of Memorial Stadium.”
The Brickhouse site launched in August 2009, an opportune moment to honor Memorial Stadium’s history as TCF Bank Stadium was set to open. And to capitalize on that moment, Libraries staff showcased the Memorial Stadium site at the University’s State Fair building, at the Celebrate U! and Ultimate Homecoming events, and at an open house for a companion exhibit at Elmer L. Andersen Library.
Fans, students, alumni, and community members have gotten to know TCF Bank Stadium over the last 10 years, and those same groups have regularly visited the Brickhouse site, spending time becoming acquainted (or re-acquainted) with the story of Memorial Stadium. The football games, the Marching Band performances, the scientific experiments, the track meets, and the commencement ceremonies made the Brickhouse an essential piece of University history.
—Erin George is the University Archives Research Services Archivist. To learn more about the University of Minnesota Archives, please visit www.lib.umn.edu/uarchives.