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Entire Bison football indoor project may be completed sooner than anticipated

Fundraising for Phase 2 of $50 million facility may be finalized by December.

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The Nodak Insurance Company Football Performance Complex is expected to break ground in July of 2021. NDSU Athletics photo

FARGO — The North Dakota State indoor football practice facility that was originally slated to be built in two phases is beginning to look more like a one-and-done construction project. Funding for the second part appears to be moving faster than anticipated.

Site work began last month at what was formerly two grass and one artificial practice fields south of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex on campus. The project, known as the Nodak Insurance Company Football Performance Complex, got a $37.2 construction authority from the state Board of Higher Education, but NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen said it will probably be closer to $34 to $35 million.

Phase 2 is expected to be around $15 million bringing the total project cost to around $50 million. Larsen said the hope is to finalize fundraising by December.

“There are a handful of folks we’re having conversations with,” he said. “Hopefully we can piece it together with them.”

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The interior of the Nodak Insurance Company Football Performance Complex looking to the north, with overhead doors on the east side providing a pathway to the outdoor practice field. NDSU Athletics photo

Finalizing Phase 2 earlier than anticipated could cut down on the construction timeline.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to start some of that before Phase 1 is complete,” Larsen said. “There are some pieces that are tied in together.”

Phase 1 consists mainly of the main indoor field, which will be 72 feet at its peak. Seven overhead doors to the east can open for easy access to the outdoor artificial turf field with the plan for it to be done by the time the Bison begin practice next fall. Phase 2 includes support amenities like a weight room, nutrition station, training room, equipment room and recruiting area.

“Obviously Phase 1 is incredibly important, but Phase 2 is a lot of the behind-the-scenes operational pieces so people see as much value in that as they do in the practice area as well,” Larsen said.

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The north side of the Nodak Insurance Company Football Performance Complex. NDSU Athletics photo

The entire project is being privately funded. Public disclosure of donors has been limited, although the athletic department identified Gate City Bank, Scheels All Sports, Team Makers booster club and alums Bob Yaggie, Bruce Yaggie, Terry Hanson and Tom Blattner when announcing the project last spring.

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Jeff would like to dispel the notion he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he is on his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher, and the brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he's covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU's Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: "Horns Up," "North Dakota Tough" and "Covid Kids." He is the radio host of "The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack" April through August.
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