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Sanford Talks About Withdrawing Funds For U Of M Stadium

February 17, 2014, 4:32 PM by Angela Kennecke

Sanford Talks About Withdrawing Funds For U Of M Stadium

He's been named to the top 20 generous givers in the nation. T. Denny Sanford's well known for his philanthropy. But it's not always without controversy.  

Recently, Angela Kennecke sat down with Sanford in his San Diego home to talk about how he made his money, why he gives it away and to learn more about the man.

Angela also asked why he withdrew a $35 million donation from the University of Minnesota Stadium project a decade ago and gave the money to build a children's hospital in Sioux Falls instead. 

In 2003, a Twin Cities newspaper, the Pioneer Press, reported Sanford wanted the stadium named after him unconditionally, while the university wanted freedom to limit naming rights. 

Sanford says that was never true. But rather, the dispute came when Sanford was told if they stopped building the stadium, his donation would go into the University's general fund. 

“There were several things in the contract that were just totally unreasonable and so I just walked away from it. I don't know how it got reported; but I walked away. I'm not going to sign a contract like that,” Sanford said.

But Sanford still calls the U of M athletic director a dear friend and just last fall donated $7 million to complete TCF Bank Stadium.

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