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Kevin Schnepf, Published September 27 2010

UPDATED: Sanford donates $10M to help start Bison Sports Arena renovation

FARGO - Sanford Health is donating $10 million to North Dakota State University to renovate and expand the 40-year-old Bison Sports Arena, the university and health care provider announced today.

The gift is the largest one-time donation in the NDSU Development Foundation’s history, the university stated in a news release.

Sanford’s gift is a major boost to NDSU's $32 million campaign to support BSA renovations that will include a 5,700-seat basketball and wrestling arena and an eight-lane indoor track.

“We are building something special together on a great tradition of top level academic and athletic performance at NDSU. We are creating opportunities for outstanding Division I competition while promoting fitness and wellness for our youth and their families,” Sanford Health President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft stated in the news release.

NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani, foundation board President Ron Olson and Athletic Director Gene Taylor were expected to accept the gift at the BSA today.

Bresciani stated in the news release that NDSU commands a powerful niche as a student-focused, land-grant research university where athletics plays an important role.

“Sanford’s generosity, and more importantly the sense of partnership, is critical to our ability to continue to serve our students and our state,” he stated in the release. “In my short time here, I’ve witnessed a remarkable level of commitment and enthusiasm, and on behalf of our student-athletes and the entire university, I want to thank our new partners.”

Following are excerpts from the news release:

“This dramatic extension and renovation of the Bison Sports Arena will transform the facility and surrounding area, including a track and field venue, into a true Division I athletic complex reflecting the new NDSU.

“Additionally, it will serve as the ‘front door’ venue welcoming student-athletes and campus guests with the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame, Hall of Champions, and various fan services and facilities.

“A two-court basketball practice facility will be added to the southwest corner of the existing structure. The west-side addition will house human performance facilities, including strength training, sports medicine and rehabilitation areas. The renovated BSA also will have an athletic academic center for the student athletes.”