NDSU, UND get ready for opening games of football season with fewer fans

As Bison football is set to be back on Sunday, Feb. 21, about half of the season ticket holders will be there.

North Dakota State University football fans cheer along with NDSU's mascot Thundar during a game in this file photo.

FARGO — Both North Dakota State University Bison and the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks are set to start their football seasons this weekend, with fewer fans than usual.

According to Matt Larsen, NDSU's athletic director, about 7,000 out of the usual 14,000 fans kept their season tickets this year.

Over at UND, Kyle Doperalski, the university's assistant athletic director, said about 1,800 kept their season ticket packages, as opposed to the usual 5,000 during normal circumstances.

Doperalski added some season ticket holders decided to defer their tickets to next season, as some couldn't go to the games due to the delayed start to the season.


On top of that, both athletic directors believe other factors contribute to the fewer numbers, including fans who travel during the winter, and fans having underlying health conditions.

Despite fewer fans being let in, Larsen said he's happy any amount of fans will be inside the Fargodome come Sunday, Feb. 21.

"I think fans are excited to get back out and cheer for the Bison, and so the fact that the state of North Dakota is in a place where we can do it in a safe way, I think is certainly a benefit," he said.

Right now, NDSU is planning on allowing 9,500 fans for football games, while UND is letting in just under 4,000, based on capacity guidelines.

UND starts its season on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Tanner Robinson is a producer for First News on WDAY-TV.
What To Read Next
Get Local