FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) Approximately 2,000 tickets are still available for North Dakota State University’s football playoff game at the Fargodome on Saturday, and that doesn't include the season ticketholders who'll choose to skip out.
But, one woman, who considers herself a Bison superfan, says she’s hoping to fill all the open seats with veterans.
Alana Christensen is trying to accomplish that feat through a ticket drive she launched Wednesday.
“I thought, let’s just start a project and try to fill the dome with as many veterans as we possibly can,” Christensen said.
Nearly 70 tickets have been donated as of Thursday afternoon allowing veterans to attend the Bison game, according to Christensen.
The team plays Colgate University and kick off is at 11 a.m.
Christensen’s father was a World War II veteran, yet she said she felt inspired to organize the ticket giveaway after attending the last Bison playoff game.
She said during the second quarter a video montage played on the stadium’s jumbotron honoring veterans. After the video was done, veterans were asked to stand and she said she couldn’t count many.
“You get to just sit in the stadium and look around the stadium and see how many veterans attended the game,” Christensen said. “And that’s when I’ve oftentimes thought, ‘Gosh. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a few more veterans here?”
Christensen connected with Project Hart Program Manager Chris Athloff to help her with reaching veterans.
"We've never seen an organized event like this kind of take off as fast as this one did," Athloff said.
Athloff has spent the last six years at the organization, which helps homeless veterans get back on their feet.
“We provide transitional services, for up to two years they can live here,” Athloff said.
Athloff said there isn’t one right answer as to why a veteran ends up homeless.
“It can be service related, maybe not service related. But, they find themselves in a situation where they need a helping hand and we are here to do what we can to give them that help,” Athloff said.
Seventy-one percent of veterans who make it through Project Hart end up finding permanent housing, according to Athloff.
If anyone is interested in donating their Bison tickets for Saturday’s game, call or text Alana Christensen at 701-899-2578.