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The Fargodome holds more than 19,000 fans for football and as many as 25,000 for concerts. The building has never lost a dime. While shows like Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones have helped make it a success, the “prime tenant is North Dakota State University football,” said Rob Sobolik, the Fargodome general manager.

Still, dome managers have reserved prime weekend dates in late November and early December for playoff games that never arrived.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to get these teams in for playoffs,” McLaughlin said. “We could have had some pretty good events in that time if we didn’t have to block off those dates.”

There have been eight Fargodome sellouts over the past five seasons, including a record 19,053 against South Dakota State in 2006. NDSU ranks 10th this season in FCS attendance with an average of 16,568 fans over six home games, with a high of 18,701 on Oct. 2 against Western Illinois.

Oddly enough, some fans have groused to dome officials about turning down the thermostat on game days to keep the players from overheating. Sobolik isn’t expecting any complaints this weekend.

“As I stare out the window at a foot of snow falling and predictions of more bad weather coming in, I would be pretty happy if I was sitting inside in an environmentally controlled venue versus sitting outside in this,” he said.

McLaughlin said he’s hoping to attend the game.

“If I can get a ticket,” he said, chuckling.