FARGO, N.D. — ESPN’s popular Saturday football program College GameDay will be broadcasting from Fargo Saturday, as North Dakota State University continues its quest for a record four consecutive Football Championship Subdivision championships.
Talk of the program returning to Fargo surfaced Saturday after Lee Fitting, a senior producer at ESPN, tweeted that the GameDay would be returning to Bison territory if the team beat Weber State on Saturday night.
School officials officially announced the news Sunday that the three-hour pregame show would return to eastern North Dakota, making it only the fifth time in the program’s 27-year history that it’s traveled to an FCS school.
“It’s more than an honor,” said Prakash Mathew, the interim athletic director at North Dakota State. “It’s recognition for the university and the city of Fargo, as well as the whole region. It’s a big deal.”
Fitting said people have been asking him since the news came out why they decided to return to Fargo and his response has been simple: Why not? The team is coming off its third consecutive FCS title and has won five games in a row against upper-tier Football Bowl Subdivision schools, including Iowa State two weeks ago.
“We had an unbelievable scene there last year, maybe the all-time best GameDay scene,” Fitting said. “If the scene’s great and the team’s relevant, then why not go back?”
Thousands of Bison fans dressed in green and yellow filled the streets last year and many spectators cheered from windows, patios and rooftops.
The Bison currently sit atop of both Football Championship Subdivision polls. The team downed Iowa State in its first game of the season, 34-14, for its 25th consecutive victory and its fifth straight win against an FBS school.
“Last year was one of our more memorable scenes in the history of the show and you couple that with the fact that they are clearly the most dominant team, most talked about team in FCS … we’re expecting the same type of scene again on Saturday,” Fitting said. “We can’t wait.”
— NDSU Athletics (@NDSUathletics) September 11, 2014