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NDSU's season-opening game at Kansas State moved to Friday night

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FARGO – North Dakota State’s season-opening football game at Kansas State next fall just got bigger – as in the number of television viewers.

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The school announced Tuesday that the Bison and Wildcats will play at 7:30 Friday night, Aug. 30 and will help debut the Fox Sports 1 network, Fox’s new all-sports channel. It will be carried in at least 90 million homes, according to a Fox press release.

Kansas State athletic director John Currie, in an online letter to Wildcats fans, said Fox originally asked for a Sunday night game, but the athletic department thought it would negatively affect student attendance because of the Labor Day weekend.

The game will feature the two-time defending Division I Football Championship Subdivision champions against the defending Big 12 Conference champs.

“There is significant TV interest in this matchup,” Currie said.

It will be NDSU’s first Friday season-opening game since a 59-20 win over Milwaukee in 1965. The last Bison weekday opener was 2009, when the Bison lost 34-17 at Iowa State on a Thursday night. It will be K-State’s first-ever Friday game.

Currie, in his letter, said the Bison-Wildcats matchup was in consideration for a late morning, early afternoon slot on Saturday. But he said the school prefers night games at the beginning of the season to avoid the heat. He said the Kansas high school football season does not start until the following week, so the Friday game will not be a conflict with the preps.

The Friday game received the support of Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, the president’s office and a school advisory board, Currie said.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia

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