SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It takes a team to be able to host the teams that play in the annual FCS Division I National Football Championship.
“We have a local organizing committee; we call it Team Frisco,” Marla Roe, the executive director of Visit Frisco, said. “Pretty much a lot of us have been on it since day one.”
The national championship is Sunday in Frisco, Texas, a city about 27 miles north of Dallas.
The city has been the host site since 2010. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted FCS conferences to move the fall football season to spring. South Dakota State University will play Sam Houston Sunday in the championship.
Although Roe said there is still championship game anticipation around Sunday’s game, the planning was different this year.
“This year is probably an easier year unfortunately because were not able to do some of the social events we’ve done in the past,” Roe said.
What can fans see in Frisco?
Roe can quickly list the attractions to see in Frisco.
Attractions include KidZania, which is a huge facility full of fun and educational activities for youth, Roe said.
The KidZania website said it’s a city built for kids. Kids learn about jobs such as firefighting and topics such as human anatomy. It’s an entertainment park for youth from 4 to 14.
The city also has a video museum “which has a huge collection.” It also has one of the largest pong games in the world, Roe said.
Roe shares some highlights for visitors in a video that includes photos from Visit Frisco.
Roe also cited the Rail District, which offers more adult fun in dining and shopping.
Visit Frisco’s website said the Rail District and Frisco Square offer a variety of restaurants and shopping.
When fans, players play Frisco does get some pay
The FCS national football championship gain is an economic boost to Frisco and the region, said Josh Dill, Visit Frisco’s director of sports and events.
The game generates about $9.5 million for the region during a typical year, Dill said.
Dill said the city calculates that monetary impact on data and a formula including using Destinations International and Oxford Economics. The impact comes from hotels, restaurants and similar activity, he said.
The impact will be less this year because of the restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
There were a limited number of tickets available so the crowd size will be smaller, for example.
Still, there is plenty of anticipation surrounding Sunday’s game, he said.
“It’s something honestly we look forward to every year,” Dill said.
Roe said the championship events include watch parties where local residents are encouraged to watch the game and join the excitement.
Frisco notices when fans arrive
SDSU fans will be wearing blue and gold in Frisco and businesses and residents will notice those colors.
“In a normal year, it’s quite honestly…it’s overwhelming. Without a doubt, you know they are in town,” Roe said. “I think they enjoy displaying their colors.”
A lot hotels will decorate with both of the team colors, although since its a spring game, the hotels may not be as colorful as in year’s past, Roe said.
SDSU is the not the only Missouri Valley Conference team to play in Frisco. Since 2011, North Dakota State University has played in the national championship eight of nine years.
“Locally, people understand; they joke that this is the green and gold game sometimes,” Dill said.
Or even joke that Frisco is Fargo (N.D.) south, Dill and Roe said.
But Dill noted that NDSU’s prominence in the FCS championship game has been during the same time as Frisco has grown as a city and grown as a sports event leader.
Now, businesses are excited about seeing a new team in town with SDSU.
“Secretly we were cheering for the Jackrabbits because you’ve never been here and we’d like to see you in town,” Dill said.