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Jeff Kolpack, Published August 01 2013

All remaining tickets for Bison football games sell out in record time

FARGO – Eva Butler got in the Bison ticket office line at about 7:50 Thursday morning. She left at 9:30 – with standing-room tickets.

“You have to take what you can get,” she said. “But you know what? We’ll have fun no matter what.”

She was one of the lucky ones. Remaining single-game North Dakota State football tickets that went on sale at 8 a.m. were gone a few minutes after Butler left the Bison Sports Arena. It smashed last year’s record of taking just over a day for the entire season to be sold out.

It’s a different world these days than the one assistant ticket manager Kay Ternes remembers when she first started working in the office in 1999. It used to be just her and director of ticket operations Josh Hemingway in the office when single-game tickets went on sale, and not much extra help was needed.

“Obviously, it’s a lot more hectic,” she said. “Back then, we could take care of everybody. Now they’re waiting in line for an hour and a half to get to the window, and we may not have any tickets left.”

That was about all the time she had to answer a question. There were 10 phone calls on hold, with some waiting for 31 minutes.

Phone conversations from her headset sounded a lot like this one:

“Which game are you looking for? How many tickets?

“Five tickets for Ferris State, but all that is left is standing room.”

“Yes, there is also a lot of online traffic.”

“There may be more reserve seats that open up the day before a game.”

“You have four tickets for Nov. 23 and five for Ferris State. Is that everything? We take Visa, MasterCard or Discover.”

About a half-hour later, all was quiet. The only possibilities now for NDSU fans to get tickets is to check the day before a game for returned tickets, such as from Bison players or the opposing team. Other possible options include online exchange sites like Stubhub.com.

There were only between 1,000 and 1,400 single-game tickets available for each game at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. Season tickets were capped at 12,100, and NDSU students get a reserved allotment of 4,000.

The rest is an assortment of complimentary tickets, mostly for players. The dome seats 18,700 for football, with standing room pushing capacity to around 19,000.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia