FARGO — The streak for Bob Clark is at 478 consecutive North Dakota State football games, a super fan feat that dates back to 1982. Through all of those road games, there has not been one where it was iffy if he was going to make it due to flight cancellations or any other travel challenges.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s statement this week that it’s possible all large gatherings through September in her state may have to be modified leaves the distinct possibility the NDSU at University of Oregon football game on Sept. 5 could be played in a nearly empty Autzen Stadium. That doesn’t bode well for visiting fans.
Would that count against Clark’s attendance streak?
“I’m not counting it against the streak,” he said. “Maybe I’ll find a way to get in; beg, borrow and steal stuff.”
The NDSU ticket office received over 11,000 ticket requests for its 3,000 visiting-team allotment. It’s a safe assumption fans not getting one of the 8,000 requests that were denied will find another way to get in the game, whether it be the Oregon ticket website or a secondary market venue. Oregon nonconference, single-game tickets go on sale in June.
Autzen Stadium has a capacity of 54,000 with the Ducks game NDSU’s first venture to an FBS venue since the University of Iowa in 2016. Plus, Bison fans have shown over the years the penchant to mark one regular season game a year as a destination event.
Brown’s statement referred to sporting events, festivals and concerts and said they cannot happen until effective prevention and treatment for coronavirus is available to the general public.
NDSU Team Makers booster group is sponsoring a charter flight to the game, but has yet to collect funds for it. Moreover, Team Makers executive director Derrick Lang said Friday morning the athletic department has heard nothing from Oregon officials.
“We’re planning on if everything is going to happen in its entirety,” Lang said. “But we’ll keep everyone posted on our social media sites and website.”
The news of Brown’s statement broke Thursday afternoon. Lang said he heard a few comments from Bison fans, “but it hasn’t been too crazy.”
For those fans that have already made their travel and accommodation plans, the advice from Tod Ganje, the manager of Travel Incorporated in Moorhead, is to be patient. Almost all airline tickets are non-refundable anyway so the traveler might as well wait to see how things play out, he said.
Airlines have become more lenient on change fees. And if the game doesn’t happen, that airline ticket can be applied toward a future trip.
“Typically on the airline side, if an event is canceled, they won’t do refunds,” Ganje said. “If it was the airline that did the major cancellation or schedule change, then you could get refunds that way. At least for the airline part of it, you might as well wait until things are more certain. There is not any difference if you make a change now versus waiting until July or August or so.”
Ganje also recommends checking with hotels to see when a cancellation penalty would start to occur. Most give the consumer the chance to cancel two days ahead of a reservation.
“My advice for people is to make sure you have all your information stored like ticket receipts and hotel numbers in case you have to make a change,” Ganje said.