BISMARCK, N.D. - This year, North Dakota State athletics has teamed up with DuPont Pioneer, and is taking a tour around the state in what is being called the tailgate tour. It involves coaches and staff stopping at small towns across North Dakota to meet and interact with all the Bison fans.
Today they made their first stop in Steele for what was a great turnout, and opportunity to get to know the Bison fans.
Director of Athletics Matt Larsen said: "You know, we have such a passionate fan base, and so, to be able to interact with them in their hometown, and to see the passion first hand, from them, really means a lot to us. You know, we see it on game-day, we see those kinds of things, but to be able to have that one-on-one interaction with the fan base, that you don't get on game-day, to be able to do it in their hometown is really, it's pretty special to us."
While having Bison fans around on game-day is always important, these coaches are excited to interact with them on a more personal level.
Softball coach at North Dakota State Darren Mueller said: "Yeah we're excited to be out here, because everything, you know coming out to Steele, and just getting a chance to meet all of our fans, and a lot of supporters, really of NDSU Athletics, and that's really important for us to kind of get around and see different parts of the state and get a chance to meet them."
Mueller added, "You know it's kind of cool just to kind of get a chance to hear their story. You know I already met one couple that graduated from NDSU, and kind of just, hear the passion that they have in their voice about their experience at NDSU, but also just, you know, people supporting not just football, not just softball, but all other sports. You know obviously, just getting a chance, I like to just go out and kind of mingle, getting to meet new people, so I always get to hear what makes them a fan of NDSU, and so that's the type of thing I really enjoy."
Their first stop was in Steele, and with a great turnout in each location they stopped at, Larsen talks about why he feels Bison fans are some of the best.
"They're passionate, they come to games, they support the program, they buy the merchandise, they wear the colors, there's a real passion there. But I think a lot of that passion goes back to, the ties with NDSU being an agricultural school, and so much of who we are, some of which our rosters are made up of men and women who have come from farming backgrounds. And so I think it's more than just being a fan of a team, I think it's being, it's the connection between agriculture in the state of North Dakota, and then obviously athletics."
The Tailgate Tour will continue on Tuesday and Thursday.