South Dakota moves forward with new arena plans

2011-06-30T18:47:00Z 2011-06-30T21:40:06Z South Dakota moves forward with new arena plans Sioux City Journal
June 30, 2011 6:47 pm

MADISON, S.D. - The University of South Dakota received approval from its Board of Regents on Wednesday to develop initial construction plans for a new basketball and volleyball arena, a track and soccer complex and renovations to the current DakotaDome.

The university released a master athletic facilities plan, which calls for three different planning phases for construction.

"It feels good to have this first step approved, but we have a long way to go and a lot of money to raise before any part of this project becomes a reality," South Dakota athletic director David Sayler said in a press release.

The master plan's first phase includes a 6,000-seat basketball and volleyball arena, which will be connected to the south side of the DakotaDome. The facility will include a competition court; three practice courts, locker rooms, offices, a training room, 14 luxury suites and a student-athlete academic center complete with a computer lab.

Renovations to the DakotaDome will take up most of Phase 2 - a new playing surface; an expanded football locker room; additional end zone seating and new suites, concession stands and restrooms. Seating capacity will be increased to 16,000, according to the plan.

The third phase includes construction of a nine-lane, 400-meter outdoor track and a new soccer competition field. Track and soccer would share part of the facility, including a 1,000-seat bleacher system.

Once cost estimates are completed during each planning phase, the Board of Regents - and ultimately the South Dakota Legislature - must provide final approval for the projects.

According to a university press release, money for the project will be privately raised and will not come from the state's general fund or other university operating revenues.

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