Potato Bowl USA

2018 Potato Bowl Festivities  Sept. 18-22

53rd Annual Potato Bowl USA
This year North Dakota takes on potato rival Idaho State!

September 22, 2018  

This year sharing the week’s festivities with UND Homecoming!



The potato bowl committee takes very seriously the decision to cancel the french fry feed. It was not done lightly. These are some of the factors that went into us making our decision.

1. The forecast. Temperatures in the high 40s or low 50s with wind and rain.

2. Water and oil don’t mix. A light sprinkle we can handle, steady or heavy rain is a serious fire hazard.

3. Some have suggested putting the large fryers under a makeshift tarp or tent, this is not feasible either as they produce way too much heat for this to be safe.

4. The potato bowl committee has thousands of dollars invested in the bounce games and the fireworks, none of which are refundable if canceled the day of the event. Potato Bowl is entirely funded by donations and sponsorships. This is a financial risk we are not able to absorb.

5. Why can’t we just reschedule? This event relies on hundreds of volunteers. For example, all Simplot employees do this on a volunteer basis, to reschedule them for another date on short notice is not feasible.

6. Why not hold it indoors at another location? First, the large commercial fryers cannot be placed indoors because of the tremendous heat they produce. No fire marshal would give us permission to do that. Also, no large venue can be scheduled on that short of a notice because of staffing and other scheduling concerns.

We understand your disappointment! We think that this is the first time the french fry feed has ever been canceled. We have been very fortunate! We deeply and sincerely hope that we made the right decision and ask for your understanding. Keep in mind there is a host of other Potato Bowl events taking place on Friday and Saturday. Hope to see everyone at these events!



BRIEF HISTORY OF POTATO BOWL – On September 24, 1966, the very first Potato Bowl football game was played at Memorial Stadium and was billed as a battle between two of the largest potato growing regions in the United States (Idaho and the Red River Valley).   The idea of creating a week of festivities to celebrate potatoes and football was the brainchild of UND Athletic Director Len Marti, Head Football Coach Marv “Whitey” Helling, Assistant Football Coach Jerry Olson and Sports Information Director Lee Bohnet. In that first game in 1966, the Fighting Sioux thumped Idaho State 41-0.  UND is 40-12 in its first 52 Potato Bowl games.