Lead gifts announced for new football stadium
South Dakota State University officials announced on Saturday lead gifts totaling $12.5 million from Sioux Falls banker Dana Dykhouse and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford toward the construction of a new football stadium.
The announcement was made in conjunction with the 100th Hobo Day game at SDSU.
“Part of our commitment is to assure all students of the greatest experience they can have while they’re studying and pursuing their athletic aspirations at our university,” SDSU President David Chicoine said. “This is a milestone occasion for us to continue to achieve and pursue that goal.”
The proposed stadium, which would have a seating capacity of 18,500 to 20,000, would replace Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, which has served as the home of Jackrabbit football since 1962. The new stadium would be built on the current Coughlin-Alumni Stadium site, with completion scheduled for the summer of 2016.
In recent years SDSU has regularly drawn crowds well above the capacity of Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, which has permanent seating totaling about 11,000. The stadium attendance record of 16,498 was set Sept. 28, when the Jackrabbits hosted North Dakota State.
University officials will present a facility program plan for the estimated $60 million
project to the South Dakota Board of Regents in December and, pending BOR approval, will seek authority from the South Dakota Legislature in the spring. Construction would be done in phases, with the east and south sides of the stadium scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2015 and the west side finished the following year.
“The young people of this state stepped up; they stepped up academically and they stepped up athletically, and now on a national stage they are making their mark known,” said Dykhouse, who lettered in football for the Jackrabbits from 1976-78. “I told the team yesterday ... you deserve this new stadium, you have earned this new stadium and we’re going to get it built for you as fast as we can.”
Plans call for the stadium to be funded through private gifts and long-term revenue streams, including concessions and suite, loge box and ticket sales. The intention is to secure bonds to finance up to two-thirds of the project’s construction with bonds, with the remaining third coming from private support.
The new football stadium would serve as a gathering place for students, alumni, faculty, staff, the community and fans throughout the state. The stadium would be designed with the capability to host various events, meetings and receptions year-round.
“Football is the single biggest sport. Football is the key to bring people back to a university and support that university,” Sanford said. “I’m very, very happy to be able to give this gift to a state institution, a state that has meant so much to me personally.”
The Dana and LaDawn Dykhouse Family and T. Denny Sanford previously provided the lead gifts for the construction of the Dykhouse Student-Athlete Center located in the north end zone of Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. The 30,000-square-foot facility, which opened in 2010, serves as the headquarters for the Jackrabbit football team and also houses strength and conditioning facilities and an academic center.
Attached to the north side of the Dykhouse Student-Athlete Center will be the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex, which is currently under construction. The Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex is a multi-purpose facility that will contain a 300-meter indoor track and serve as the indoor practice facility for a variety of Jackrabbit teams. The facility also will feature enhanced sports medicine and human performance areas.