Craig Bohl and his Bison football team are currently ranked sixth in the FCS Coaches Poll for their performance on the field. The Bison fans also have another ranking to be proud of. The football attendance average after two games is 17,682, ranking NDSU eleventh in the FCS. The Bison finished 10th in attendance last year with an average gate of 15,994.
There are many factors helping the Bison at the turnstiles. Interest going into the season was high due to the first-ever FCS playoff appearance that eventually saw the Bison advance to the national quarterfinals.
The collegiate atmosphere at the Fargodome has proved to be a big draw for the Bison faithful and casual fans alike. On game day, tailgating sets the tone outside. If the smell of grills were not enough, tailgating offers something for every sense. A stroll through the west lot of the Fargodome will take you on a green and gold tour of custom Bison buses and tents and throngs of Bison fans grilling, eating, socializing and reveling in Bison spirit. A kids area, lawn games like baggo, ladder ball and giant Jenga give tailgating a family reunion feel.
Once inside the doors, the sensory experience continues. The cinnamon almonds provide the first impression for a nice selection of food at the concession stands. In addition to standard concession fair, Subway, Famous Dave’s barbeque, Taco Dogs, Dippin’ Dots and Domino’s pizza provide options for the hungriest football fans.
The show on the field starts one half hour prior to kickoff. The Gold Star Marching Band pre-game show displays the pageantry, tradition and music that college football fans expect. Then it is lights out – literally. The stadium goes dark and the four video boards that frame the field show a minute long video featuring a herd of Bison making its way through towns across the region. The video then transitions to a live shot of “the Herd” making their way from the locker room to the field. The team is met with a loud ovation and the crack of fireworks as they run out of the giant inflatable helmet. The student athletes who wear the green and gold take over from there. They don’t make money for their talent and performance, but they give 110 percent in exchange for cheers, support and admiration from their loyal fans.
With a remaining home schedule that features Missouri Valley Football Conference foes Illinois State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa and Youngstown State at the Fargodome, it is very likely that there will be many more fans that declare “I’m There!” as the advertising theme suggest.
Due to the high ticket demand, fans are encouraged to buy tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchase by calling the ticket office at (888)231-NDSU, purchasing online at www.GoBison.com or at the Bison Sports Arena Ticket office Monday through Friday; 8 a.m.-5 p.m.