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McFeely: NDSU football's next need? Practice facility like Youngstown (and others) have

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — North Dakota State honchos will tour the wonderful Watson and Tressel Training Site on the campus of Youngstown State University this weekend, but it sounds like more of a wish-list visit than anything else.

It needs to be more than that, sometime relatively soon, if the Bison hope to keep up with the Joneses in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

The WATTS is an indoor practice facility just an Easton Stick pass away from Stambaugh Stadium, where the Bison will play the Penguins in a highly anticipated FCS Division I football game Saturday. The Penguins were the first team in the league to have an indoor practice facility. South Dakota State has a brand-spanking-new indoor building in Brookings and future MVFC member North Dakota also has a new indoor facility.

Yes, the facilities arms race has trickled down to the second-level of Division I.

“We are actually planning on touring the practice facility at Youngstown on Saturday,” NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen said. “We do not have any formal plans at this time for a facility at NDSU, but it is definitely something that I believe needs to be in our future.”