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NDSU football season tickets to reach record levels

FARGO -- Reaching 10,000 season tickets has always been a goal for the North Dakota State football program. This week, it's looking like it will be a matter of when and not if.

A Division I Football Championship Subdivision title is perhaps the best marketing tool there is. Associate athletic director Troy Goergen says he's confident the school will reach 10,000 season tickets "based on early numbers" and the fact NDSU defeated Sam Houston State last Saturday for its first FCS national championship.

The school is currently taking names and addresses on its athletic website for season tickets, because the schedule and ticket prices haven't been finalized. NDSU has 10 games set for next season with room for one more.

Home games are slated against Robert Morris University (Pa.) to open the season on Sept. 1 and league games tilts against Youngstown State, Indiana State, Southern Illinois and South Dakota State.

The Bison sold 9,700 season tickets last year in the 18,700-seat Fargodome. NDSU has never capped season tickets.

"Potentially, we could get to a point where we'll look at that," said Josh Hemingway, NDSU's ticket manager. "Those are meetings we have to have."

Hemingway said the ticket office is anticipating a jump in sales similar to the back-to-back 10-1 seasons of 2006 and 2007. Single-game tickets go on sale Aug. 1.

Meanwhile, the mass exodus of championship T-shirts and other gear off of store shelves this week will eventually find its way to the NDSU athletic budget. Goergen said NDSU made $170,000 from its licensing of merchandise last year and that is expected to increase this year.

"Just by the sheer number of licensing approvals and obviously retailers trying to capitalize on it as well," he said. "Our strongest indicator is how the retailers are doing and both have been busy all year."

Goergen said "people having been coming out of the woodwork" to offer their services for championship merchandise.

"I've had more calls and emails this week than I usually get," he said.