Governor Daugaard signs bill to begin construction on new SDSU f - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Governor Daugaard signs bill to begin construction on new SDSU football stadium

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“Before this stadium is done I guarantee it will have one more seat than the Fargodome,” said Dana Dykhouse.

It’s the beginning of new era for SDSU Football; Governor Dennis Daugaard and many South Dakota State supporters were in Brookings Thursday for the signing of Senate Bill 15, which officially funds construction of a new 65 million dollar football stadium.

Over the past few months, the university has diligently worked to raise enough private funds to move the project forward.

“Almost half of the project is being covered by private dollars...and to have those dollars be raised in just nine months is just spectacular and it just shows that many people are anxious to have South Dakota State have the kind of facility it deserves when it’s an institution of the caliber it is,” said Governor Dennis Daugaard.

The Coughlin-Alumni Stadium has served the university well for more than five decades, creating generations of memories for more than a thousand Jackrabbits who’ve played on the field. But many of those same Jackrabbits are happy to be supporting a bigger, brighter future for SDSU Football.

“It’s a bond that pulls us all together, and that's what it means to be a family and that's why I'm so happy to give back to this organization,” said Dana Dykhouse, a former SDSU Jackrabbit football player and a leading donator to the new SDSU football stadium.

Construction on the new 19,000 seat facility will begin this summer, with the Jackrabbits playing opening game in the new stadium in planned for the fall of 2016.

SDSU football is already a huge part of the city of Brookings, but a new facility of this caliber will mean an even large impact for the entire region.

“People who look at South Dakota as a place to come or to live and to grow their families and their businesses, they want a place that has a great quality of life....and this stadium provides us the kind of facility that gives us spectacle and fun and it also raises SDSU up to the level it deserves to be placed upon,” said Governor Daugaard.

“You can feel the momentum that's been on our campus for the past four or five years, and being about to build a building that can bring 19 thousand people plus to our community every Saturday we play, have the opportunity to host other events and use it all year long, will have a tremendous impact on our community,” said SDSU Athletic Director Justin Sell.

The SDSU impact is something local business owners like Donna Behrend feel every day.

“SDSU is a big part of our community first and foremost, so for businesses like mine, it’s quite important. We feel it when the students leave, and we definitely know when they come back,’ said Behrend.

They also feel the difference every game day in the fall.

“We have fans coming from the other opposing teams and then of course the SDSU fans and everyone is dressed in yellow and blue and it’s very wonderful and busy and exciting,” said Behrend.

It’s the kind of excitement that will only grow when the brand new stadium opens.

“This new facility is just going to add more and I think bring more people into Brookings. If they’re playing NDSU and they're all coming down Fargo, it’s going to be a really big part of the community and I think its time,” said Behrend.

“When SDSU went D-1 I think there were some that questioned whether we were the kind of state that could support a D-1 school or two, and this just shows its another step in the progress of showing the world that SDSU has what it takes,” said Governor Daugaard.

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