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February 25, 2008 09:47 PM

SF School Board Wants City To Consider Coliseum

Even though it owns it, the Sioux Falls School district wants to put the fate of Howard Wood Field in the hands of the city council. A Coliseum Exploratory Group has proposed building a 100 million dollar indoor stadium that could house football games, band festivals and other special events. But that would mean tearing down the 48 year old Howard Wood Field. 

This spring, the school district planned to start six million dollars worth of improvements at Howard Wood Field. But the Coliseum Exploratory Group wants the district to delay the work, until it can figure out if a new coliseum will be built there instead. 

It was an informal meeting to make a multi-million dollar decision. 

Sioux Falls School Board member Debbie Hoffman says, "They're asking us to step back from that and say can we explore some other options." 

One of the options involves getting rid of the 48 year old Howard Wood field. It would have to be torn down to build a new coliseum, which is why the exploratory group wants the school board to hold off on renovations. 

Dana Dykhouse with the Coliseum Exploratory Group says, "If they would begin to re-construct Howard Wood this spring that would then take Plan A off the table." 

Monday night, the school board decided it needs the *city to formally ask for the work to be delayed. 

Hoffman says, "We are asking the mayor and the city council to decide if they would like to request from us a delay." 

Dykhouse says, "They want to ask the city council for that recommendation, it's the appropriate move for the school board." 

School board members are looking to the city because while the decision about Howard Wood field may be up to them, the decision about a multi-million dollar coliseum may not be. 

Hoffman says, "It's a big decision only in that somebody has to move this process forward and whoever that's going to be is going to continue this process and move it forward and it's probably not going to be the school board."

The school board will write a letter to the city asking them for a formal request to delay the renovations of Howard Wood Field. If that happens, the board will make a decision about the future of the stadium at it's March 10th meeting.


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