The Gophers have fewer than 400 tickets remaining for the season opener against TCU, senior associate athletic director Chris Werle confirmed Thursday.
The team is closing on its first home sellout since the 2013 regular-season finale against Wisconsin. The capacity at TCF Bank Stadium increased to 52,525 last season with the Vikings coming on as tenants. Last year's season-high attendance was 51,241 for Purdue.
ESPN also announced that Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Tom Luginbill will be the broadcasting crew for the Gophers-TCU game.
NDSU to provide stipends
North Dakota State said it will provide thousands of dollars in stipends to scholarship athletes in all 16 sports beginning next year, a move that could persuade other mid-majors to follow suit.
The plan to pay for the full cost of attending college originated with the most influential conferences at the Bowl Subdivision level, which approved the legislation in January after gaining autonomy from the NCAA. Athletic scholarships have historically covered tuition, fees, room, board and books.
NDSU officials say the additional cost will be up to $3,400 per full scholarship.
"This is not our student-athlete coming in and picking up a paycheck because they rushed for 200 yards or they threw a no-hitter or whatever it may be," athletic director Matt Larsen said. "This is to cover the costs while they're here as a student-athlete for North Dakota State."
Larsen said the decision should allow his coaches to stay competitive on the recruiting trail, where they often go against larger schools to land a player. The Bison football team, which has won four straight FCS titles, has gone head-to-head with Wyoming, Minnesota and other FBS schools over several recruits.
"To say a student-athlete is going to choose North Dakota State over another school for $3,400, I don't think that will be the case," Larsen said. "But it allows us to be in the same realm as some of those schools that we recruit against."
Larsen said the stipends are not a step toward FBS for NDSU.
• Andrew McCain's 10-foot birdie on the last hole proved to be the difference as McCain and partner Hudson Carpenter fired a final-round 7-under 65 to hold off defending champions Jesse Polk and Sammy Schmitz by one stroke at the 54th Minnesota Golf Association Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Dellwood Country Club. McCain and Carpenter opened the championship with a 5-under 67 on Wednesday.
• Brenda Williams of Windsong Farm beat Leigh Klasse of Keller Golf Club in a playoff to win the Minnesota Senior State Amateur at Elk River Golf Club. Both shot 77-76-153.