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NDSU fans offer championship game travel tips for Griz fans

Posted at 5:17 PM, Dec 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-19 10:48:15-05

The Montana Grizzlies will be playing for the FCS National Championship on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas, after beating the North Dakota State University Bison in double overtime last Saturday.

It'll be the first championship appearance for Montana since 2009, so Griz fans have likely never made the trip to Frisco, which started hosting the final game in 2010.

But NDSU, the team the Griz bested over the weekend, is more than familiar with the area. The Fargo squad has played in 10 of the last 12 FCS championships, and their fans are well-versed in how to maximize their travel to Texas.

"We call it Fargo south because it kind of feels like home down there," said NDSU fan Mike Bice on a web call. "Some fans might call it arrogant, but I call it confidence."

Bice has attended every championship game for the last 12 years, and that includes the two years when his team wasn't represented.

"The stadium is good seating," Bice said. "It doesn't really matter where you are, you have a good view."

Another Bison fan, Matthew Fraase, said he feels fortunate to have had the chance to see his favorite team play on the biggest stage.

"It's pretty bonkers honestly," Fraase said. "I think it'll take more losses like this weekend where we come up short to really appreciate the last decade we had."

Meanwhile, reporter Matt Henson for WDAY, the ABC affiliate based in Fargo, has traveled to Frisco many times to help cover the game. He said his daughter was too young to understand that the trip to Texas isn't an annual thing.

"Yeah, she was really bummed. She just didn't get it," Henson said. "She just thought it was automatic that daddy would be heading to Frisco with the Bison."

All three fans did offer some tips for Grizzly fans and their travel and experience.

"The weather can always be a factor," Henson said. "If you're booking plane tickets make sure you leave some wiggle room or at least have a plan B to drive."

Bice discussed the price of the tickets and said that people will often wait to buy tickets once they arrive in Texas just a couple days before the game.

"The most ridiculous pricing time is right now, but like I said, if you know you want to go, you got to take your own risks," Bice said.

Fraase said it's important to go into the stadium earlier than usual. Otherwise, the entry lines can become packed and lengthy.

"I would try to get into the stadium early," Fraase said. "And make sure your ticket is loaded before you head to tailgate because your ability to have data in the parking lots is dead to the world."

Fraase also discussed the bar and restaurant scene, encouraging Griz fans to attend the establishments affiliated with the team.

"Look up those bars and restaurants that are already going to be supporting the Griz," Fraase said. "Go there for better prices and better food and all-day events."

Bice's last bit of advice was about hotel rooms. Because NDSU has played in the game so frequently, he actually reserved a block of 80 rooms in July. Now, he's hoping the tickets will be given to Griz fans instead of South Dakota State ones, who just happen to be his team's biggest rival.

"Montana gets the great experience, and hopefully they can pull it off against the Rabbits," Bice said. "Anything I can do to help get their fans down there. It's going to be a tough, tough battle, but hopefully they can get her."

His feelings towards the Jackrabbits were felt by the majority of NDSU fans.

“I’ve not seen or heard of one Bison fan saying they want the Jackrabbits," Henson said. "I think it’s pretty clear that the Griz have the support of North Dakota."