One of the most well-known university symbols in the state will be front and center on national TV. South Dakota State University confirms ESPN GameDay will go live on its College Green. The SDSU Campanile will be right in the background.
There’s a lot of work to get done before Saturday’s Dakota Marker game between SDSU and North Dakota State University. University and city leaders are working together to make sure everything goes well.
For those who aren’t familiar with the Campanile, don’t worry. ESPN will introduce the iconic bell tower, the school’s symbol, to millions of fans.
“They looked at that and say, this really does say SDSU,” Mike Lockrem, director of university marketing, said. “You can’t buy the type of exposure we’re going to get from this event.”
Behind the scenes, preparing for GameDay is costing a lot of time and planning. Lockrem says SDSU found out Sunday this is happening. It takes a lot of coordination between the school and City of Brookings to make sure everyone is on the same page.
“Looking at a lot of logistics. We have to get people here and them to into a sold out football stadium. We’re encouraging thousands of people to come who maybe don’t have a football ticket, but want to experience ESPN GameDay,” Lockrem said.
“This just brings it up another notch. Everyone is excited. It’s almost like Hobo Day on steroids,” Laura Schoen Carbonneau, executive director of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, said.
Schoen Carbonneau expects Friday and Saturday to bring an extra $1.5 million to Brookings. She says working with the university, and area businesses is crucial to market the area to attract future visitors and students.
“Our ultimate goal is to make sure we put on a flawless show and the crew and cast feels welcome here, so they’ll consider coming back here in the future,” Schoen Carbonneau said.
There’s a lot to do, but no one is feeling overwhelmed by the workload. To borrow from SDSU’s fight song, Lockrem says everyone is ready to ring the bell for South Dakota.
“It’s been go, go, go, which we anticipated. It’s been a lot of fun,” Lockrem said.