Scheels CEO Steve Scheel announced a gift of $5 million to NDSU and the athletic department. The Scheels gift is a contribution to the Building the Competitive Edge for Bison Athletics $32 million campaign. A 5,700-seat basketball and wrestling arena, and an eight-lane indoor track highlight the initiative.
NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani; Jim Miller, Development Foundation executive director; and Gene Taylor, director of athletics, accepted the gift at an announcement held Dec. 17 at the Scheels flagship store in Fargo.
“On behalf of Scheels and the Scheel family we are pleased to help NDSU athletics move to the next level in facilities. Our gift will play a small part in providing Bison athletes and fans with improved facilities for basketball, wrestling, and track. When we do well as a business, it is enjoyable to be able to do good in our Scheels communities,” Scheel said.
Bresciani said NDSU commands a powerful niche as a student-focused, land grant research university, where athletics play an important role in uniting the university community and in bringing a unique level of national visibility to the institution. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Scheels and the Scheel family,” he said, “Their gift is a substantial and important step in the completion of a project that will be positive for NDSU and North Dakota for many, many years to come. On behalf of the students and the student-athletes, I extend a heartfelt thank you.”
The extension and renovation of the Bison Sports Arena will transform the facility and the surrounding area, and serve as the “front door” venue welcoming student-athletes and campus guests with the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame, Hall of Champions and various fan services and facilities. A two-court basketball practice facility will be added to the southwest corner of the existing structure. The west-side addition will house human performance facilities, including strength training, sports medicine and rehabilitation areas. The renovated Bison Sports Arena also will have an athletic academic center for student-athletes.
“We are extremely appreciative of this generous gift on behalf of Scheels and the Scheel family. It is an extension of the tremendous relationship we have with Scheels,” Taylor said. “This gift allows us to get even closer to completing this critical project. We are excited about the commitment that Scheels has made to Bison Athletics.”
Scheels has 23 stores located in eight states, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, Wisconsin and Nevada.