Minnesota Golden Gophers Overview

Fast facts

League: Division I (NCAA)

Head Coach: Ben Johnson

Team Mascot: Goldy Gopher

Year Opened: 1928

Capacity: 14625

City / State: Minneapolis / Minnesota

Rivalries & Top Games to Attend

Minnesota vs Wisconsin

Rival Team: Wisconsin Badgers

The Badgers are the Gophers biggest rivals and basketball is no exception. If you want to go to the wildest and rowdiest Gophers basketball game of the season then make sure to go to the game against the Badgers. Matchups between these two also count towards to the annual Border Battle trophy, so there are more than just simple bragging rights on the line when these two schools meet.

Minnesota vs Iowa

Rival Team: Iowa Hawkeyes

After the Badgers, the Hawkeyes are the Gophers next biggest rivals. If you can’t make it to the game against the Badgers then be sure to catch Iowa when they are in town if you want to experience Williams Arena in all its glory.

Minnesota Golden Gophers Stadium Guide

In Game

Williams Arena is one of the oldest and most historic venues in all of college basketball and as such Williams is a must see for every diehard college basketball fan. The fans here at Williams Arena can get deafeningly loud and create one of the most raucous in-game atmospheres in all of college basketball. The Barn and the Gophers’ fans provide an excellent college basketball atmosphere that is unique to the barn and something all college basketball fans should experience at least once.

Not only are Minnesota fans extremely loud and passionate about their team, but they are also some of the nicest and friendliest fans around. As long as you’re wearing Gophers gear, you’ll fit right in as everyone will be happy for you to join in on the chants and cheers.

The fans here love to cheer on their Gophers particularly Goldy, who is one of the best mascots in college sports. Goldy’s signature move is the ability to spin his head, which really riles up the crowd and gets everyone going. If attending a Gophers game make sure to look for Goldy as his antics are worth the price of admission all on their own.

Things to check out

The Raised Floor

The court at Williams Arena sits approximately two feet above the ground and is one of only a handful in college basketball.

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Retired Jersey Banners

Each end of Williams Arena features retired numbers of some of the greatest players in Gophers basketball history. One end features legends from the men’s team such as Kevin McHale and Dave Winfield, while the other end has the retired numbers for the women’s program including two-time WNBA champion Lindsay Whalen. Be sure to check these out if attending a game at The Barn.


One thing that makes the Barnyard special is the fact that the fans here dress up as barnyard animals to cheer on their team. If you want to sit with the wildest fans at the game and don’t mind dressing up like a cow or pig, then the barnyard is the place for you.

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Free Throws

Before each Gopher free throw attempt, the student section claps their hands and then extends their arms and wiggle their fingers until the player shoots. To celebrate the making of a basket, the students bring their arms down and cheer woosh. If the player makes both free throws then the fans do two whooshes and chant U of M. In the odd occasion that the player shoots and makes three free throws then, the fans do three whooshes and chant University of Minnesota. Join in on this tradition to get the most out of your Gopher basketball gameday experience.

Goldy Gopher

The Gophers critically acclaimed mascot is one of the most famous mascots in college sports. Goldy has been named the UCA National Champion twice, having won in both 2011 and 2013. Goldy’s signature move is the ability to spin his head, which is a sure fire way to rile up the crowd and inspire the team. Watch for Goldy to put on quite the show when attending a Gophers game.

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Fight Songs

  1. Minnesota Rouser

    Played various times throughout the game

    Minnesota, hats off to thee,
    To thy colors true we shall ever be,
    Firm and strong, united are we.
    Rah! Rah! Rah! for Ski-U-Mah,
    Rah for the U. of M.

    Minnesota, hats off to thee,
    To thy colors true we shall ever be,
    Firm and strong, united are we.
    Rah! Rah! Rah! for Ski-U-Mah,
    Rah for the U. of M.
    Minnesota! Minnesota!
    Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah GOPHERS!

  2. Hail! Minnesota

    Minnesota hail to thee!
    Hail to thee our college dear!
    Thy light shall ever be.
    A beacon bright and clear
    Thy sons and daughters true.
    Will proclaim thee near and far.
    They will guard thy fame.
    And adore thy name;
    Thou shalt be their Northern Star.

  3. Go Gopher Victory

    Go! Gopher victory, Minnesota go!
    Go Gopher victory, hit them hard and low!
    Rah! Rah! Rah!
    Go! Gopher victory, we can always win,
    With a rah, rah, rah, ski-u-mah!
    Hurrah, hurrah, Minnesota!
    We can fight! fight! fight! and fight!
    Come on Minnesota, let’s go.

  4. Minnesota March

    Rah! Rah! Ski-U-Mah. Rah! Rah! Rah!
    March on, March on to Victory.
    Loyal Sons of Varsity.
    Fight on, Fight on for Minnesota
    For the glory of the Old Maroon and Gold.
    March on, March on to win the game.
    Down the field, fighting every play.
    We’re with you, team, Fighting team!
    Hear our song, we cheer along
    To help you win a victory.

  5. Our Minnesota

    On you Gophers! You fighting Gophers!
    Break that line, and win this game!
    Fight it through men, win the Big Ten,
    Make them sorry that they came!
    For the glory of Minnesota!
    For the honor that’s her due!
    For maroon and gold, be warriors bold!
    For dear old “U”.

  6. Minnesota Fight

    Minnesota! Come on! Let’s go!
    It’s a loyal crowd that’s here.
    With a Sis-boom-ah, and a Ski-U-Mah.
    For the varsity we cheer, Rah! Rah! Rah!
    The old fight gang! On your marks-
    Slam! Bang! Hit ’em hard and hit ’em low.
    So Fight, Minnesota, Fight! Minnesota!
    Come on let’s go!

  7. Ski-U-Mah

    This slogan originating in 1894 is used to cheer on the Gopher football team and can be found in several of the university’s fight songs including the “Minnesota Rouser,” “Go Gopher Victory,” and “Minnesota March.

Minnesota Golden Gophers Bars & Restaurants

  1. Sally’s


    Down-to-earth bar offering draft brews, cocktails, elevated pub food, sports on TV & a patio.

    700 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA


    Bar website

    sportsbar - $$

  2. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery

    Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery beer

    . Whether you’re looking for a hearty lunch, a happy hour snack, or a three-course dinner, you’ll find something perfect to accompany your pint.

    1430 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  3. Stub and Herb’s

    Stub and Herbs

    Longtime collegial haunt offering burgers & other pub grub, plus happy hour & lots of tap choices.

    227 SE Oak St, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  4. Blarney Pub and Grill

    Blarney Pub and Grill

    Cold beer. Great food. Great Service. Perfect experience.

    412 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  5. Jax Cafe

    Jax Cafe

    Circa-1930s landmark serving steaks & seafood in an elegant, old-school setting with a garden patio.

    1928 University Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418, USA


    Bar website

    american - steakhouse - $$$

  6. Mesa Pizza

    Mesa Pizza

    A variety of creative pizzas & slices served late are the focus at this funky, counter-serve joint.

    1323 4th St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA


    Bar website

    pizza - $

  7. Al’s Breakfast

    Als Breakfast

    Classic diner fare for breakfast & lunch draws locals to this narrow nook with an old-school vibe.

    413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA


    Bar website

    american - $

  8. Burrito Loco

    Burrito Loco burrito

    One of Dinkytown's top spots to grab a beer after class, get a killer burrito, or check out the game.

    418 13th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA

    612-746-LOCO (5626)

    Bar website

    mexican - $$

  9. Annie’s Parlour

    Annies Parlour

    Take a step back to old school burger & malt shop and stop in at Annie's!

    313 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$

  10. Hell’s Kitchen

    Hells Kitchen

    One of the best restaurants that serve fresh pastries and breakfast all day!

    80 S 9th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402, USA


    Bar website

    american - $$