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ESPN College GameDay will set up in downtown Fargo again

FARGO - When ESPN's "College GameDay" returns to Fargo on Saturday, the popular pre-game TV show will again be broadcast downtown in front of the Fargo Theatre, North Dakota State University announced in a news conference Sunday.

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From left: Desmond Howard, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit talk on the set Sept. 21, 2013, during the broadcast of ESPN College GameDay. Photo by David Samson / The Forum

FARGO – When ESPN’s “College GameDay” returns to Fargo on Saturday, the popular pre-game TV show will again be broadcast downtown in front of the Fargo Theatre, North Dakota State University announced in a news conference Sunday.
“ESPN made it clear that they had a great experience last year in downtown Fargo and they wanted to go back there,” said NDSU interim athletic director Prakash Mathew.

NDSU started hearing from “GameDay” on Thursday, said Troy Goergen, NDSU senior associate athletic director for marketing and media relations. And the talk “heated up” on Twitter while the team was in Utah this past weekend.
ESPN made the official announcement that it would return to Fargo – the first time an FCS school has hosted the program twice – on Saturday night near the end of NDSU’s 24-7 victory at Weber State.
Six-thousand people attended in 2013, Mathew said, and he emphasized that this year would be “bigger and even better than last year.”
Fargo Police Lt. Joel Vettel said some people skipped the event last year and then regretted it.
“We were prepared for a bigger number, and a lot of people stayed home worried about parking,” Mathew said.
NDSU officials are hoping those people take advantage of shuttles this year and come out to see the show. Mathew stressed multiple times that shuttle service was “adequate” and would alleviate concerns of traffic and congestion.
Vettel also said downtown businesses, which were reluctant about the new event last year, are “extremely supportive” this year.
The same policy as last year will hold regarding tailgating: no alcohol on the streets.
And in general, the police will follow the same security method as last year because it went so well, police Chief Keith Ternes said.
“I don’t think we made a single arrest” last year, Ternes said. “I don’t think we had a single significant problem to deal with.
“It will be easier for us to make the event bigger, but better might be a bigger challenge because it went so well last year.”
Will the bison “Corso,” named after “GameDay” personality Lee Corso and no longer a baby, make an appearance?
“If they make the choice to have him down at the event, we will be fully prepared to deal with that as a logistic,” Vettel said. “He is obviously twice the size he was last year, so we’re already bigger.”

Shuttles

There will be two shuttles to the location of the downtown broadcast running from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday.
One will depart from the south end of the R parking lot at 15th Avenue North and Albrecht Boulevard on the NDSU campus, and the other from the east side of the T parking lot between 11th and 12th avenues, according to an NDSU news release.
Fans attending only the “GameDay” set should use the Lot T shuttle, the release said.

Street Closings

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  • On Wednesday, no-parking signs will be posted on Broadway between 2nd Avenue North and 4th Avenue North; on 3rd Avenue North between Broadway and 4th Street North; and on 5th Street North between 3rd Avenue North and 4th Avenue North.
  • On Thursday, no-parking on 3rd Avenue will extend to 5th Street, and there will be no parking along 2nd Avenue between Broadway and 5th Street North.
  • On Friday, 2nd Avenue North will be closed from the west side of Broadway to 5th Street North, and there will be no parking Friday evening on 4th Avenue North between Roberts Street and 5th Street North and on Broadway from 4th Avenue North to the railroad tracks at 5th Avenue North.
  • On Saturday, 4th Avenue North will be closed from Roberts Street to 5th Street North, and Broadway will be closed in the 400 Block (4th Ave. N. to the railroad tracks). These roads will remain closed until the conclusion of the GameDay event.
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