By Associated Press - Saturday, April 23, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - An NFL draft party scheduled in Bismarck for hometown hero Carson Wentz has already outgrown its original plan.

The event to see which team selects the North Dakota State University quarterback was planned for the gym at his alma mater, Bismarck Century High School. But organizers say there is so much interest that it had to be switched to a local football stadium.

Bismarck Century sports marketing teacher Troy Olson told KXMB that the way the idea has grown is “surreal.” His sports marketing class is working on the details.

“I’m not a guy that pays attention to the draft every year, but now I’m on ESPN every day and NFL.com every day,” Olson said. “To have it happening in your own backyard is amazing.”

The watch party is scheduled for Thursday at the MDU Resources Bowl. ESPN plans to broadcast a live shot from the stadium when Wentz is drafted.



“You never really know what the next day is going to bring with it, so it has been really exciting,” said Ben Lervick, the Century athletic director. “Kind of a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Wentz capped off his Bison career in January by leading NDSU to its fifth straight Football Championship Subdivision title. Most experts expect Wentz to go either No. 1 to the Los Angeles Rams or No. 2 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Cal quarterback Jared Goff and Wentz are expected to be the first two picks of the draft.

Proceeds from the Bismarck event, which will include a silent auction with items autographed by Wentz, will go to a new Patriot Price fund to help Century students get the resources they need to participate in activities.

“Our community is very good about coming together when we have needs and it’s not too often we are able to come together for something so wonderful for our entire community,” Lervick said.

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