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Bison see increase in football ticket sales

FARGO - North Dakota State associate athletic director Troy Goergen was part of a Bison marketing contingent that drove around the state last week promoting Bison athletics. Still, there's no better strategy than winning.

FARGO - North Dakota State associate athletic director Troy Goergen was part of a Bison marketing contingent that drove around the state last week promoting Bison athletics. Still, there's no better strategy than winning.

Fresh off a run in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, NDSU ticket manager Josh Hemingway said the number of season tickets sold has hit 9,300 - an increase of more than 200 from last year.

"Winning is what builds excitement and I think marketing helps it along," Goergen said. "It's important, especially in this market. Fargo and North Dakota love a winner."

Goergen said the marketing van put on 2,175 miles, stopped in 30 communities, distributed more than 1,000 yard signs and countless schedule cards.

The owner of a grocery store in Ashley, N.D., even put on a last-minute tailgating picnic with proceeds going to the athletic department. About 100 people showed up and Georgen said a check was received in the mail for $200.

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"Around 100 people in a town of 700 in what was a grass roots marketing tour," Goergen said.

Single game tickets went on sale Monday and the ticket office is anticipating the pace of season ticket sales will fall over the next month while single game sales "has seen steady traffic yesterday and today," Hemingway said.

The 9,300 is about where NDSU was two years ago. But the Bison also went 3-8 in 2009 and the season ticket sales were not as strong last year.

"To me, the bottom line is going three rounds deep in the playoffs and returning a pretty good chunk of your skill positions," Hemingway said. "That gets people excited and back on board."

Still, NDSU led the Missouri Valley Football Conference in attendance last year at 15,944 fans per game in the 18,700-seat Fargodome. The 9,300 season tickets sold this year is above the total attendance last year of league teams Illinois State, Indiana State and Missouri State and about 1,000 below South Dakota State and Southern Illinois.

Youngstown State was second in attendance at 15,110 and Northern Iowa third at 12,997.

The Bison open with Lafayette College (Pa.) on Sept. 3 and St. Francis University (Pa.) on Sept. 10. Both are lesser-known FCS opponents; Lafayette from the Patriot League and St. Francis from the Northeast Conference.

NDSU originally had Georgia Southern on the schedule for Sept. 10, but GSU opted out in favor of a home game.

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The NDSU and University of Minnesota game on Sept. 24 in Minneapolis is sold out, according to the Gopher website. It's one of two Minnesota games that sold out with the other being the University of Nebraska.

Inforum searchword: Bison

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack's NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
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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