Some other thoughts on the proposed indoor football facility for NDSU football, in light of the State Board of Higher Education giving approval for the school to start a fundraising campaign. The story can be found here:
- The site plan and drawings suggest NDSU will be getting rid of one of the three practice fields in favor of two artificial turf fields — one inside and one outside. It probably makes sense in that not many teams play on grass anymore. Last year, the Bison played on a grand total of zero grass fields and the last time that happened was at South Dakota State in 2015. The Jacks have since gone to turf. Moreover, in all the years I’ve watched practice, about the only time a third field was used was by specialists like the kickers and punters doing their thing.
- There may still be space for specialists even with two practice fields, with plans for two practice fields plus some extra turf space. The outdoor field will be lighted, which is crucial in late October and November with the time change and loss of daylight.
- Interesting two of the three drawings showed a large image of Carson Wentz, one on the end zone wall of an interior wall and one on the exterior of another drawing. It’s most likely, at this point anyway, because he is the highest-profile figure of any former Bison athlete.. But he also stands to be in line for a huge contract extension should his career continue on its current path. Money needs to be raised, after all.
- It’s going to have some height at its apex, noticeably taller than the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.
- I watched the live stream of the State Board of Higher Education meeting today, with the indoor football project one of many agenda items. The point of hilarity: when Rick Tonder, the director of facilities planning for the North Dakota University System, suggested it will probably take five to six years for NDSU to raise the money for the $37.2 million project. Higher Ed Board Vice Chair Greg Stemen then piped in with a presumed hint of sarcasm: “There seems to be some support for that team over in the Fargo area.”
- NDSU head coach Chris Klieman said he did not know how long it will take. I also got the vibe that Klieman thinks it can be done in two years. The SHAC took around 10 years from start to finish, but Bison football is at another level of giving. If it takes five or six years to raise the funds, Jack Maughan, the senior associate athletic director for development, will be back working at his old college job by then — Chub’s Pub.