BROOKINGS, S.D. — South Dakota State staff are prepping to host ESPN’s College GameDay Saturday, Oct. 26. in conjunction with the Dakota Marker football game.
“We’re obviously very excited. This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase the university and Brookings,” said Mike Lockrem, director of the university’s marketing and communications department.
Lockrem said the set and site location for the show have yet to be determined.
Lockrem said that while the 2 p.m. game that pits top-ranked North Dakota State against the No. 3 Jackrabbits is sold out, the university is expecting thousands to attend the College GameDay broadcast site.
"ESPN won’t be here until later today, so we’re going to visit with them about site location. Then we’ll start talking about the logistics—about parking and how they’ll get in and out,” Lockrem said on Monday.
South Dakota State’s athletics department was contacted by ESPN hours before the GameDay plans were made public on Sunday, Lockrem said.
"We knew a few hours ahead of time. I don’t know what went into the decision, but a lot of times they make the decision on Saturday night,” he said.
"Wisconsin losing to Illinois may have changed some things,” Lockrem surmised.
More information will be shared on the university’s website, www.sdstate.edu, as it becomes known to university officials.
“We’re getting information out as quickly as we can, but things will be kind of fluid here,” Lockrem said.
"Once we get the site selected, ESPN producers will come to town and we’ll show them around, but it’s a big production so obviously we’ll need a lot of space.”
Fargo, home of the Bison, has hosted College GameDay two times and producers choose to do the show off-campus in downtown Fargo.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who is also SDSU alumni, shared her excitement about the news on her Facebook page. "THRILLED that ESPN will feature Saturday’s SDSU v. NDSU game on the College GameDay broadcast!! The Dakota Marker game always brings out a great crowd, but to see the stadium sell out just goes to show how much folks support the blue and yellow. Can’t wait to see SDSU beat NDSU in front of the entire country!! GO BIG! GO BLUE! GO JACKS! #ProudSDSUAlumni,” Noem wrote.
The show airs Saturday mornings from 8-11 a.m.