Home Field Advantage What to know about the upcoming DakotaDome renovations

As one of South Dakota’s most recognizable landmarks, the DakotaDome has been a cornerstone of Coyote athletics for decades. Our goal is to ensure it remains a cornerstone by transforming the DakotaDome into a championship-level facility befitting a highly competitive Division I athletics program.

When it comes to recruiting top athletes and building lifelong fans, a university’s training and gameday facilities are as important as its reputation. In fact, a 2016 study showed that 99 percent of surveyed schools planned to invest in space improvements in the next five years. Infrastructure updates and state-of-the-art amenity upgrades will ensure South Dakota remains not only competitive but continues to lead the way.

Now is the time to invest in the DakotaDome, to celebrate the tradition and achievements that have created the legacy of USD athletics, and to build a strong future for the student-athletes and fans of tomorrow.

What are the priorities of this project?

The DakotaDome will transform in phases to keep the ball moving down the field. The first phase focuses on the west side and will include:

  • A football locker room, team meeting spaces and offices that excite and advance student-athletes
  • A USD-worthy game experience with new permanent seating, club seating, concessions and services
  • Smart lighting, sound and operational efficiencies
  • Two new main entrances to the facility on the west side

Future phases will include:

  • Upgrades to locker room and office elements for all sports
  • Updated administrative and support spaces
  • Competition and training areas for all sports
  • New playing surface for football and track
  • Modern concourse and fan amenities on east side of the DakotaDome
"The addition of the outdoor practice facility will give us, in combination with the Dome, a state-of-the-art practice facility that provides us the ability to practice on multiple surfaces indoors and outdoors." - Bob Nielson, USD Head Football Coach

When will construction begin, and what is the timetable for the project?

The practice field north of the DakotaDome is complete and was put to use for the first time ahead of the Coyotes’ final game of the 2018 season.

Construction on the DakotaDome renovation will begin in the middle of February. We anticipate the project to take 18 months and to be complete before the start of the 2020 football season. Access to the playing surface of the DakotaDome is expected to return in the summer of 2019 ahead of the team’s season and home opener against Montana.

How will construction impact home football games in 2019?

All six home games on the schedule for the 2019 season will be played inside the DakotaDome. We will exclusively use the east side, which brings the capacity to 5,500. Priority for those seats will remain with season ticket holders, USD students, the band and corporate sponsors, meaning single-game tickets will be at a premium.

"The DakotaDome renovation project will provide our football program with a state-of-the-art locker room, meeting and office facilities, and enhance game day amenities for our fans." -Bob Nielson

What is the most unique part of this project?

One of the best features of the new west side will be the addition of 10 suites and 15 loge boxes that will offer a game day experience with an unobstructed view so close to the action, it will be unlike anything else in the country.

The 10 suites will be situated between the two 35-yard lines. They will be high-walled areas with their own access and will offer a private, secluded area and 12 seats.

The 15 loge boxes will be stationed between the goal line and 35-yard line on both sides of the west seating area. They will feature an open-air concept with six seats out front and a table for four in the back.

How do I gain access to those suites and loges?

Contact USD Associate Athletic Director Andy Carr at 605-658-5507 for information on how to gain access to the new suites and loge boxes.

What about the skyboxes on the east side?

Starting in 2020, the skyboxes at the top of the east side will be utilized by game management and members of the media.

"We have the opportunity to transform the DakotaDome into a facility that once again sets the standard on the training, competitive and fan experience for all those who enter its doors." -USD Athletic Director David Herbster

What can Coyote fans expect in 2020 and beyond?

The DakotaDome will be reseated for season ticket holders in a process similar to the one used inside the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. People will be able to choose their seats on either the west or east side of the facility. Transport from one side to the other will run through the hallway of the adjacent Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

With two new entrances being constructed on the west side, there will be four main entrances to the DakotaDome. The University and the athletic department are also studying additional parking possibilities for the future.

The total number of seats available following the west side renovation is expected to be 9,037.

The first home game of the 2020 season is slated for Sept. 19. Be here!

What is the cost of the project, and how I can contribute?

The cost of the outdoor practice facility and this west side renovation is $26.3 million. Fundraising for this project and future phases of the DakotaDome continues. Inquiries, including naming opportunities for all levels of gifts, can be made by contacting USD Associate Athletic Director Andy Carr at 605-658-5507.

Future phases of the DakotaDome will be incorporated into the University’s Facility Master Plan under the guidance of President Sheila Gestring.

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