Saturday, January 4, 2014

NDSU Pep Fest in Frisco Draws 10,000

imageFRISCO, Texas - Just when you thought the following for North Dakota State football couldn’t get any crazier, here’s something to twitter to any fans of a major college team: A ticket to attend Friday night’s Bison pep fest was actually harder to find than a ticket for today’s FCS Championship game.

“That just blows me away,” said Sherri Schmidt of the NDSU Alumni Association, which put together a pep rally to knock the socks off of all pep rallies Friday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

More than 10,000 green-and-yellow-clad Bison fanatics crammed into this minor league baseball park accustomed to holding 7,000 fans during the summer months. The limit of 10,000 tickets was sold out as of New Year’s Day.

That prompted many Bison fans to scramble to find a ticket for the pep fest, which included live music from the Fargo band 32 Below, a live buffalo stationed outside the front entrance, rah-rah speeches from NDSU President Dean Bresciani and athletic director Gene Taylor and a tribute to former Bison football players.

There were reports of some fans scalping tickets outside Dr Pepper Ballpark and some fans trying to sell them on Stub Hub or Craigslist.

What in the “Wide World of Sports” has the infatuation with Bison football come to? Just how much bigger can this get?

“I think we could easily sell as many tickets as we do for the game … if not at least 75 percent,” Schmidt said.

There are a couple of reasons why ticket demand for the pep fast exceeded the game.

First, NDSU’s football team will be playing for its third straight national championship today. That, and the notion that this could be the last time a Bison team could make it to the championship game in a while, has drawn more Bison fans to Texas than ever.

Second, tickets for the game were still available as the Bison fans partied Friday night.

“Bison fans,” blared the public address announcer during the pep fest. “If you still need tickets for tomorrow’s game, you can go to”

Tickets are available mostly because NDSU is not playing Sam Houston State again – a school only three hours from Frisco. Instead, NDSU’s opponent – Towson University of Maryland – is expected to bring only 1,000 or so fans.

As many as 90 percent of the 21,000 seats at Toyota Stadium could be filled with Bison fans today.

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