By Andrew Jason
NDSU hopes to continue their sports domination by completing a massive upgrade on their athletics department.
Shelly Ellig Indoor Track and Field
Construction started last spring and is progressing nicely. Having a separate track house will give track and field the ability to schedule independently. They will no longer have to schedule around wrestling and mens and womens basketball. There will be chairback seating, better sound and climate control. They hope to be able to open the track and field center around Homecoming this fall.
The new Tailgating Lot
The FargoDome is paving the grass over-flow parking to create more room for tailgating. This 10-acre plot is often a mess in wet weather, so it should help create a more fun, safe tailgating environment.
Sanford Health Athletic Complex
The Sanford Health Athletic Complex is the name for the new Bison Sports Arena as well as the Shelly Ellig Indoor Track and Field. This will house the Scheels basketball arena, wrestling arena, a 14,500 sq. ft. basketball training facility, 15,000 sq. ft. performance training center, 2,000 sq. ft. hall of fame display, team store, concessions and almost 6,000 seats for basketball.
The new Turf
The installation of the $2.8 million Astro Turf Gameday Grass 3D will finally create a field that is player friendly. Players reported that playing on the old turf felt like playing on concrete, and were constantly getting scratched up from the turf. Upgrading to this turf will bring the Bison into the 21st century, and put it in an elite class, as this is the same turf the St. Louis Rams use.
Bison Sports Arena: 1970 – The Bison Sports Arena opened their doors to athletes and fans in 1970. Originally, the B.S.A. was set up to hold 8,000 fans, for basketball games. However, the seating in the arena was eventually changed, so that it could accommodate both basketball and wrestling, with 5,830 seats. The original cost of the arena was $3.1 million.
Bentson Bunker: 1978 – Once named the Physical Education Building, the Bentson Bunker Field House has been home to the volleyball team since 1978. The B.B.F received its new name, after a local businessman, Art Bunker, was given recognition for his gifts to the university. The Bunkers’ also insisted that part of the facilities name also include that of former NDSU Basketball Coach Chuck Bentson.
Fargodome: 1993 – The dome can hold up to 19,000 fans during football games. Known to be one of the toughest places to play in Division 1 football, Bison fans often reach more than 100 decibels. With, approximately, more than 100,000 fans visiting the FargoDome for NDSU Football games every year, the Bison rank in the top 10 teams for attendance in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Newman Outdoor Field: 1996 – Newman Outdoor Field is the home of both the NDSU Baseball Team and the Fargo Moorhead Redhawks. The stadium has a seating capacity of 4,422 fans, and has hosted several events such as 2000 North Central Conference Tournament and the 2009 American Legion World Series.
Ellig Sports Complex: – 1997 – The Ellig Sports Complex, home to NDSU Soccer, Track and Field, and Softball, was completed in 1997. Between the year that it opened and 2004, the complex has hosted 5 North Central Conference championship track and field meets, North Dakota Special Olympics and professional soccer exhibitions. The original cost of the complex was $2.3 million.
Football Offices: 2006 – Located in the FargoDome, the Bison Football office saw renovations to their facilities including state-of-the-art film equipment, conference rooms for position meetings and a team room for team meetings. This facility houses the coaching staff and the football program’s administrative staff.