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Bison Sports Arena renovation gets final approval

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FARGO -- After several years, countless meetings and fundraising quests, the North Dakota State basketball programs finally got the news it wanted to hear: the Bison Sports Arena renovation is 100 percent approved.

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The unanimous vote from the budget section of the North Dakota Legislature this morning will allow the Sanford Health Athletic Complex to begin construction. That approval was needed because the cost of the project at $41 million exceeded the earlier $35.4 approval of the Legislature.

The North Dakota State Development Foundation this fall said it will guarantee funding to finalize the project.

“It’s been 10 years since we’ve been talking about it,” said NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor, who made a presentation in front of the committee.

The main section of the renovation – the 5,700-seat Scheels Center – is expected to move NDSU to more of a Division I-like arena. The BSA opened in 1971.

NDSU obtained the approval of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education last month.

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Jeff Kolpack
Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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