Air Force to be First Opponent in TCF Stadium

Minnesota Athletics Department officials announced Wednesday that the United States Air Force Academy has agreed to be the Golden Gophers' first opponent in TCF Bank Stadium when the facility hosts its inaugural game on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009.

The game will be the third for Minnesota against one of the three Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) service academies, but the first vs. the Falcons. Minnesota defeated Navy, 21-0, in 1962 and Army, 23-8, in 1963. Both games were played on campus in the old Memorial Stadium.

With the addition of Air Force, the Gophers' 2009 schedule is nearly complete. Minnesota is currently seeking a road opponent for its 2009 season opener on Sept. 7. The Gophers' two other non-Big Ten games that season included home dates with California on Sept. 19 and South Dakota State on Nov. 14.

Big Ten home opponents for the 2009 season include Wisconsin, Purdue, Michigan State and Illinois.

Construction on TCF Bank Stadium began in July 2007, when the site was cleared and the existing asphalt along with approximately 50,000 cubic yards of soil were removed. Currently, pilings are being installed and the foundation will soon be poured.

Construction of the steel portion of the structure is scheduled to begin in January 2008 and be completed in late August 2008. Construction of the brick and cast stone portion of the building will begin in fall 2008 with completion scheduled for February 2009.

The playing field will be installed in spring 2009 and the final commissioning of the stadium will occur in summer 2009.

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