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Craig Whitney, Fargo, Published September 19 2013

Letter: Proud to host ESPN’s ‘GameDay’

To echo previous sentiments, North Dakota State University and Fargo- Moorhead-West Fargo have truly hit the jackpot in terms of the ESPN “College GameDay” coverage this weekend. While the show will do a great deal for NDSU and its athletic program, it will also showcase much more than that. When ESPN comes to the metro this weekend, our community and the state of North Dakota will be on display for the nation to see.

According to ESPN, its football coverage averages 5.6 million viewers per hour over 15 hours. This makes the downtown Fargo location ideal. The backdrop of downtown and the iconic Fargo Theatre sign will be a great place to showcase our community, a growing metro that boasts low unemployment, a vibrant arts culture, a strong business community, regional collaboration and a quality of life that is second to none.

ESPN has said as much themselves. “We want to show off the school, we want to show off Fargo, we want to show off North Dakota in the absolute best light. The downtown area does that,” said “GameDay” senior coordinating producer Lee Fitting.

This incredible opportunity will not only put our metro on display for the nation, but will also have a lasting economic impact. While it might be hard to put an exact price tag on it, the event will showcase a number of local businesses and our metro as a whole to millions of viewers. This doesn’t even take into account the people who are here on game day (and beforehand), purchasing merchandise and visiting our local restaurants and bars.

NDSU has earned this honor and their time in the national spotlight. The Chamber is proud to call them a member, and we are greatly looking forward to sharing the success of our nationally ranked football team and our incredible metro area with the rest of the country this weekend.

Whitney is president/CEO of the Chamber of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo.