Memorial Stadium, the long time home of UND Football (and I mean LONG TIME), is slated to get a new life and for anybody associated with the program, past or present, this is excellent news.
The old boy was starting to fall apart about 20+ years ago and it got to the point where something had to be done. With UND joining the MVFC in 2020, the facilities arms race got even more intense and UND finally pulled the trigger on getting the team & staff out of Memorial (built in 1927) and into temporary housing.
There were some iconic games played at Memorial over the years and thousands of players called it home while representing the green & white of UND. Many of us looked at it like this: ‘It wasn’t much but it was ours’ and occupying it meant we were proudly a part of the program.
The temporary housing that we speak of is the recent move from Memorial to Starcher Hall, just on the other side of the Columbia Road overpass. The south half of Starcher used to house Industrial Technology (my major) but has been seldom used since the program was discontinued. The entire coaching staff is housed there now, along with several nice meeting rooms.
The team has moved their locker room operations into the old swimming locker rooms , located in the south half of the multi-purpose area in Hyslop Arena. The lockers from Memorial were moved over to Hyslop and it turned out quite well. I was impressed considering it is only temporary. The setup is much, much fresher & efficient for the players, along with being in a prime location. The main weight room is right on the other side of the wall, much like it was when they trained at Memorial.
Fast forward to the topic at hand – the proposed Memorial Village. This is going to be beautiful venture that UND will benefit from greatly. The total cost is a reported 25 million dollars and will be a public, private partnership spearheaded by three prominent UND alums.
Steve Burian, (former thrower on the UND track & field team) of Burian & Associates, Mike Kuntz (former UND football player) of Icon Architectural Group, and Craig Tweten of Community Contractors, Inc are the three principals on the project. Their ties to UND obviously run deep and having them as part of the project should be very reassuring to all alumni.
The project is slated to be a 5-story, mixed-use facility with UND Athletics housed on the main floor. The biggest part of this venture if you are a UND football fan is the fact that if built as desired, the football coaches offices and meeting rooms would be housed on the main level.
Why is that important? Because now there would be no need for the FULL version of HPC II, which was going to house the athletic department, football program, track & field, strength & conditioning, training staff, etc. and cost north of 28-30 million dollars. That number could very well be cut in half, according to what I have been told.
UND has been fundraising for HPC II for several years now and taking a major chunk of that cost off the table would be very helpful to the athletic department and the Alumni Association fundraisers.
This was some forward thinking by the University, Burian, Kuntz, and Tweten. Demolish Memorial, build a brand new 5-story complex, and find a permanent home for the UND Football headquarters.
Here are a few renderings of what the finished product would look like if this project goes through. Notice the HAWKway on the far right side of the last picture below – this would be a walkway for the team to get over to the HPC Indoor Facility. In January that will come in quite handy.
I like how they incorporated a similar look to the original Memorial Stadium to honor what was a very important, historic piece of UND history.