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Coyotes Break Ground on Sports Complex

It’s been 35 years in the making, but the construction of a new on campus basketball and volleyball facility at the University of South Dakota has finally come to fruition.

The official groundbreaking was held on campus in Vermillion Tuesday, just south of the DakotaDome, where the new $66 million Sports Performance and Enhancement Center will open in the fall of 2016.

Governor Dennis Daugaard joined school officials and top donors for the ceremony.  When completed, the complex will also include and outdoor track and soccer facility,  as well as a science, health and research lab.

New USD Arena
University of South Dakota

A slightly different version of the 6,000 seat basketball and volleyball arena was actually included in the original plans for the DakotaDome, which opened its’ doors in 1979.  But a number of outside factors pushed those plans to the back burner for decades.

I asked USD athletic director David Herbster about the patience and perseverance it took to finally see this project come to life:

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The men’s and women’s basketball programs are the biggest winners with the new facility.  I asked women’s coach Amy Williams about the different things a new homecourt means to her team:

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New men’s coach Craig Smith was just hired three months ago, but knows first hand what a new facility means to a program.  He was an assistant and Nebraska when the Cornhuskers moved into the Pinnacle Arena last year:

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Last month, South Dakota State broke ground on its’ new $65 million football stadium, which is also slated to open in 2016.

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