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Where Champions Are Made
Construction begins this year on the Nodak Insurance Company Football Performance Complex, a new indoor practice facility at North Dakota State University. The estimated $37.2 million building project for Bison Athletics will be entirely privately funded, and the first phase is projected for completion in the fall of 2022.
For NDSU student-athletes, the clock never stops. Jalen Bussey ’23, a Bison running back, spent his summer on campus. Every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, he met his teammates in the weight room, at the Fargodome, or on the turf for strength and conditioning practice. To stay in shape for the season, NDSU student-athletes train nearly year-round — and the athletes are no strangers to each other. They all share practice spaces, and during the academic year, their practice schedules change constantly to accommodate the needs of a slate of talented teams, including women’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s track and field, baseball, softball, and football.
Katrina Patscot ’24, a defender and midfielder for women’s soccer at NDSU, said facilities like the Sanford Health Athletic Complex (SHAC) and the Fargodome help NDSU student-athletes grow individually and as a team, but in the current environment a lot of teams share the few spaces available, and although every team looks out for one another, many compromises have to be made.
Because of philanthropic support, things are about to change. Construction begins this year on the Nodak Insurance Company Football Performance Complex, a new, privately funded indoor practice facility at North Dakota State University.
“It’s going to be great to have a new facility,” Katrina said. “The energy is going to be high, and I’m very excited just to be in there with my team. I think our competitiveness, our strength, and our Bison mentality as a whole will just skyrocket and really bring us far.”
The project’s first phase, estimated for completion in the fall of 2022, will include construction of the indoor practice facility and outdoor field, which will replace Dacotah Field’s temporary bubble that is at the end of its life. The second phase, which still requires additional fundraising, will include locker rooms, a 10,000-square-foot weight room, sports medicine, and other needs for student-athletes and coaches.
"When NDSU student-athletes see the belief and investment from our community and the donors who support these projects, it's something they're really excited about."
Matt Larsen, Director of NDSU Athletics
“We’ve had a bubble over Dacotah Field for the last seven years, which has been fantastic, but we really need something more permanent,” Matt Larsen, director of NDSU athletics, said. “The ability to have an indoor space where all of our outdoor sports can train essentially year-round is a huge benefit. It will take the pressure off the SHAC in terms of working around schedules, and it puts us on par with a lot of the institutions we’re competing against from a recruiting standpoint, too.”
This rings true for Jalen, a recruit from Tampa, Florida, who worried about practicing in extremely cold weather when he first joined the team.
“An indoor facility will bring in a lot more recruits,” Jalen said. “I think it’ll make everybody happy knowing that NDSU is growing, that we’re starting to get the things we need as a big, competitive Division I school.”
Digital renderings of the Nodak Insurance Company Football Performance Complex (Photos submitted by NDSU Athletics)
Nodak Insurance Company provided a lead gift and was awarded naming rights for the new facility.
“When NDSU student-athletes see the belief and investment from our community and the donors who support these projects, it’s something they’re really excited about,” Matt said. “I’m looking forward to the positive impact the new indoor practice facility is going to have on their development and training.”
Katrina looks forward to the ways a new, state-of-the-art environment will positively impact her team’s mindset and performance, and Jalen is especially excited about the new locker room and weight room.
“You build that camaraderie in the locker room, and the weight room is where Bison football wins our championships,” he said.
The Nodak Insurance Company Football Performance Complex is designed by Foss Architects and Interiors of Fargo in collaboration with Crawford Architects of Kansas City, which recently designed football practice facilities for the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks.