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Kevin Schnepf, Published December 08 2010

Men's basketball: Record crowd on tap for NDSU-UND

Buffalo wings have the Bison flying high.

Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar announced Tuesday that it purchased 2,200 tickets for Saturday’s North Dakota State vs. University of North Dakota men’s basketball game in the Fargodome – pushing ticket sales to a school-record 9,300.

The game marks a renewal of the century-long rivalry. It will be the first time the two teams will have played each other since 2004.

“We were certainly hoping to get to 7,000 or 8,000,” said NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor. “This just puts it over the top.”

Buffalo Wild Wings, a sponsor for Saturday’s

7 p.m. game, approached NDSU marketing officials about making such a big purchase. Wild Wings will give away the tickets at their restaurants in Fargo, Moorhead, Grand Forks and Bismarck.

Tickets will be distributed on a first-come basis beginning at 11 a.m. today. There is a four-ticket limit per person with a valid ID.

Prior to the Wild Wings purchase, NDSU ticket manager Josh Hemingway said 7,100 tickets were sold. Nearly 1,400 of the 1,900 tickets allotted for students have been sold.

The 9,300 tickets sold will break NDSU’s attendance record of 7,002 set against South Dakota State in a 1996 game in the Bison Sports Arena.

Prior to that, NDSU estimated its attendance and the top-listed crowd was 8,500 against UND in both 1975 and 1981.

NDSU currently lists its seating capacity at the Bison Sports Arena at nearly 6,000.

The Fargodome configuration on Saturday could seat as many as 10,000 fans – with overflow seating extending to the east on both ends of the court.

“Ticket sales have really picked up in the last two weeks,” Taylor said. “That’s why we decided a long time ago to move this game to the Fargodome. We saw this as an opportunity to create an event and it looks like we’ll have one.”


Readers can reach Forum Sports Editor Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549