VERMILLION, S.D. | While approaching Vermillion on South Dakota Highway 50 from either direction, it's hard not to notice the large gray roof looming on the northern part of the University of South Dakota campus.
Since 1979, the DakotaDome has been a Vermillion and USD landmark.
The USD athletics website touts the structure in this way: "One of the region's most recognizable structures, the DakotaDome serves as the cornerstone of the Coyote Athletic Department and is home to five intercollegiate sports, including basketball, football, volleyball, track and field and swimming and diving."
It's also the site of South Dakota's high school football championships and has hosted countless other high school sports camps.
The facility's outward appearance has remained largely the same.
In 2001, it received a new $13 million steel roof. Additional upgrades over the years, according to the USD sports department, include the installation of a customized Daktronics Sports Marketing video board, concourse and concession improvements, women's locker room renovation and press box updates.
Work continued in 2007 with the renovation of the sports medicine area, replacement of men's locker room, reconstruction of the equipment room and replacement of the arena floor.
The facility's role in the USD athletic department is in for a change. The university currently is building the $66 million Sports Performance Enhancement Facility next to the DakotaDome. When finished, the new facility will include a new 6,000-seat arena for men's and women's basketball and volleyball. The new facilities are expected to be finished in 2016.