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Construction inside DakotaDome to begin in February

December 22, 2018

VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) — The first phase of the University of South Dakota’s $26.3 million renovation project to the DakotaDome is nearly ready for when practice begins in the spring.

The university football team’s new outdoor practice area is essentially complete, and construction inside the facility is set to begin in February, the Argus Leader reported.

The series of improvements will create inconveniences next fall for the Coyotes and the team’s fans. But coach Bob Nielson said the remodel of the decades-old facility is “going to be first-class.”

“We’re going to have first-class locker room and player-support facilities and first-class offices and team-meeting facilities that will competitively put us among the best in our division,” he said.

The South Dakota board of regents approved the university’s renovation project last year. Beyond improvements to locker rooms, coaching offices and meeting rooms, the plans call for updates to lighting, electrical, plumbing and fire and sound systems.

Construction will cut the DakotaDome’s capacity in half next year. The current student section won’t be available while crews rebuild the west side of the facility, adding new entrances, restrooms, a commercial kitchen and other accommodations.

Athletic director David Herbster said the university will have to reduce the quantity of single-game tickets available to make room for a student section.

“It’s going to put a premium on season tickets,” Herbster said. “And for sure it’s going to put a higher value on student tickets, certainly, because they’ll only have a third available to them compared to what they had this year. We’ll be looking at some creative ways to make sure every seat we have in there that can be sold will be sold.”

The football team 2019 season has six home games, which includes a game against South Dakota State University on Nov. 23.

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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