GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Officials from the University of North Dakota athletics department and and Spectra by Comcast Spectacor have teamed up to enhance the Fighting Hawks Football Game Day experience and below fans will find information on a variety of different topics as the UND football team prepares to defend its Big Sky Championship in 2016.
PRESEASON NATIONAL POLLS AND RANKINGS
The Fighting Hawks have found themselves ranked in the top ten of two major FCS preseason polls. The STATS preseason poll has North Dakota listed at No. 8. And the FCS Coaches’ preseason poll lists the Fighting Hawks at #10. The STATS preseason poll consists of 163 voters from a national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries.
STATS Preseason Poll: Top 10
1. James Madison
2. North Dakota State
3. Sam Houston State
4. South Dakota State
5. Eastern Washington
6. Jacksonville State
8. North Dakota
9. Youngstown State
FCS Coaches’ Poll: Top 10
1. James Madison
2. North Dakota State
3. Sam Houston State
4. Eastern Washington
5. Jacksonville State
6. South Dakota State
8. Youngstown State
10. North Dakota
The Fighting Hawks were ranked 19th in last year's STATS Preseason Poll and ended the year ranked No. 12 after posting a 9-3 record and winning a share of the Big Sky title.
Fan excitement for the program is at a fever pitch with over 1,000 new season tickets sold since the end of last season. After a historic season in 2016 that featured the program’s first appearance in the FCS playoffs, fans can still pledge their loyalty to the Fighting Hawks by purchasing season tickets to see the defending Big Sky Conference Champions. Fans looking for the best value are still encouraged to purchase season tickets starting at $80 per seat. Fans can reserve their seats for the 2017 season by contacting the Ralph Engelstad Arena Box Office at 701-777-4689 or through online purchase at http://bit.ly/2017UNDFootballSeasonTickets.
- North Dakota Football vs Missouri State | Saturday, September 9th at 4:00 PM (Potato Bowl)
- North Dakota Football vs Montana State | Saturday, September 23rd at 2:30 PM (Military Appreciation Game)
- North Dakota Football vs Northern Colorado | Saturday, October 7th at 2:30 PM (Homecoming/Hall of Fame Game)
- North Dakota Football vs Sacramento State | Saturday, October 21st at 12:30 PM (Green Out Game)
- North Dakota Football vs Eastern Washington | Saturday, November 11th at 1:00 PM (Senior Recognition Day)”
Single game tickets ($25, $15 for youth) are available for purchase in person at the Alerus Center or Ralph Engelstad Arena Box Office or online at www.UNDsports.com/tickets.
In a partnership between the University of North Dakota and Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, the providers of Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality to Alerus Center, tailgate times have been extended to have the lots open at 8 a.m. for all home games during the 2017 season. This additional time has been added to allow fans the chance to have more time to set up and enjoy their tailgating experience. In addition to the time extension, there will be an increase in bathroom facilities located in the tailgate lots.
Tailgate Village, which has live music, food vendors, merchandise sales, and giant inflatables for the kids will open 2.5 hours before every game and is completely free for fans to go through. Fans are also encouraged to walk through Tailgate Alley where private season-long tailgaters have reserved spots. This lot is completely sold out, so if fans want to arrive and tailgate on their own they can purchase single-game tailgate spots for $15 when the lots open at Alerus Center on game day. Fans can also park for $5 and enjoy the festivities by foot.
Finally, during the first home football game, fans are encouraged to come pick up the official “Fighting Hawkerchief” for 2017 from Tailgate Village and from those handing them out throughout the tailgate lots. These items were generously paid for by a donor, and are meant to be utilized inside during the games all-season long.
New security measures, including metal detectors, are being introduced this season. These new procedures are not a response to any specific threat, but rather recommendations made by the University with consultation from local law enforcement officials and other stadiums in the Big Sky Conference. Fans are encouraged to allow for extra time to enter Alerus Center and to leave non-essential items at home. The following items are prohibited inside Alerus Center: bags larger than 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches, backpacks, briefcases, video cameras, recording devices, laser pointers, noise makers, weapons, contraband, sticks or poles - including selfie sticks, laptop computers, tablets, outside food and beverage, and any other item(s) determined to be dangerous or inappropriate.
TIPS FOR QUICK ENTRY
Arrive early to avoid lines at the door
Pack and travel light
Please limit your carry-in items to cell phones, keys, wallets, small clutch bags, and other essential item
NEW FOOD ITEMS
North Dakota football fans have a lot to look forward to when they visit Alerus Center as Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, the providers of Food Services & Hospitality to Alerus Center, is introducing six new food items to the concessions menu. Spectra will offer a Prime Rib Sandwich, which is served with caramelized onions on a fresh baked onion roll from the local Hugo’s Bakery; a featured Panini of the game, the first game will highlight the Cuban Panini which is layered with pulled pork, sliced ham, bread and butter pickles, provolone cheese, and a house made sauce on a delicious hoagie roll; Coach Bubba Burger, a quarter pound beef patty with garlic chipotle bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles; Hawk Strip Basket, The Grand hot dog, featuring an all-beef hot dog topped with taco meat and nacho cheese; and Macho Nachos that come in a tortilla-chip filled bucket with taco meat and nacho cheese when the Fighting Hawks hit the field at Alerus Center.
BUBBA$ BUCK$: COLLEGE TUITION EDITION
North Dakota Athletics is proud to announce the return of Bubba$ Buck$ to North Dakota Football home games in 2017. Students will again have the chance to win a $5,000 scholarship at each home game as they support the Fighting Hawks. With five games on the docket, the “Bubba$ Buck$: College Tuition Edition” promotion will give away a total of $25,000 in scholarships thanks to the donations of generous alumni. In order to have a chance at winning the scholarships, students are required to bring their valid ID and fill out an entry form at the NoDak Nation table on the southwest concourse before the end of halftime. This must be completed each game as entries from previous games will not carry over to the next game. During the fourth quarter of each home game, one winner will be drawn at random and announced over the public address system. Their name will also be displayed on the stadium video boards and UND Athletics staff will contact them directly at the phone number provided. Each winning student must be present at the game to claim the prize.
FREE PUBLIC ACCESS WIFI
As part of our continued efforts to evolve the fan experience by listening and responding to guest needs, Spectra is now offering free public access Wi-Fi to its patrons. “We are excited to be able to provide our guests with free public access Wi-Fi, which will be instrumental in enhancing our guest experience for those in the facility to be able to use and share their experience through social media and other web based platforms,” said Spectra’s Anna Rosburg, General Manager of Alerus Center.
In the last 18 months, Spectra by Comcast Spectacor has worked with 14 of the arenas it manages to convert from traditional HID and Quartz Lighting to the latest in LED Sports Lighting. The switch is expected to produce mega savings. Not only will the LED lighting conversion reduce the venues’ environmental and energy footprints, it will also create a better experience for fans and arena guests and enhance facility operations with features that can include: instant on/instant off, dimmable lighting, changeable light temperatures, and enhanced ability to create custom scenes since every fixture can be operated individually.
Spectra is proud to announce a handful of projects we have undergone this offseason to enhance fan experience and engagement including a new state of the art sound system, free public access WiFi, and a brand new LED lighting system. The new state of the art sound system is a complete replacement of the original loudspeaker system. The new loudspeakers are manufactured by Fulcrum Acoustics, based out of Massachusetts. The design focuses on the placement, aiming, and timing of the speakers to give the best user experience. The concourse and suites will also get upgraded speakers that will sound much more musical than their predecessors.
TXT ALERT SYSTEM
Spectra is also implementing its “Txt Alert” program as a method of facility management. The program allows the public to notify management in real time of anything that requires staff attention, including guest service concerns, suspicious activity, and more so that it can be promptly addressed. The system promotes public safety by using the public as the eyes and ears of Alerus Center and encourages guests to say something if they see something that seems suspicious, so that staff can investigate and address issues in real time. Additionally, the system allows the guest to inform staff of issues and have those issues addressed, without having to seek out a staff member. Guests will find signage throughout the facility encouraging them to text in their issues and the location of the issue, or scan the sign’s QR code to open a text message with the phone number auto-filled.
ABOUT ALERUS CENTER
Alerus Center, a 13,500-seat arena that can accommodate 22,000 for concerts, is the home of the University of North Dakota football team. The multi-purpose arena also hosts family shows, sporting events, banquets, weddings, conventions, and trade shows. Alerus Center features 14-luxury suites and a club lounge, as well as an adjacent 160,000-sq. ft. of convention and trade-show space, including a 26,000-sq. ft. grand ballroom and 12 meeting rooms.
Comcast Spectacor is part of Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology company that operates Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Comcast Spectacor’s three core businesses are the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center Complex, and Spectra, a leader in hosting and entertainment services specializing in Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, and Partnerships. Spectra provides its services to over 300 client properties in the United States, Canada, and Singapore. Visit us at ComcastSpectacor.com for more information.