User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

72° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started. | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Jackrabbits Head Indoors

September 1, 2014, 10:15 PM by Matt Holsen

Jackrabbits Head Indoors

Towering over the Dykhouse Center and Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, the new Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex is hard to miss. The $32-million facility's grand opening is set for Saturday, Oct. 11 barring any setbacks.

Sitting next to the more than 50-year-old Coughlin-Alumni Stadium on the campus of South Dakota State University, the massive new athletic complex looks almost out of place. But with record enrollment at SDSU, a growing city in Brookings and a new stadium in the works, it's a view of the future.

"This is really kind of symbolic, if you will, of all that growth. Just based on the sheer size, you can't miss it from Interstate 29 or Highway 14, that's for sure," SDSU Athletic Director Justin Sell said.

The indoor facility is a premier track playground with an 8-lane, 300-meter track. It will also boast 100 yards of synthetic turf, something that brings a smile to head football coach John Stiegelmeier's face.

"Our last two spring balls have been a circus. We spend more time trying to find out if we're going to practice and where we can practice and then our schedule's all messed up. Now we're going to be able to say these are the days we're practicing and we'll be able to practice," Stiegelmeier said.

The complex speaks for itself in the eyes of recruits. On top of an academic center, there's space for sports medicine, athletic training, strength and conditioning, physical therapy, and hydrotherapy.

Matt Holsen: Did this kind of bring you here?

Adam Belhaj: This absolutely brought me here. To work in a premier, an elite facility, definitely excites me in my quest to get better as an athlete.

Freshman track athlete and Lincoln grad Adam Belhaj won't know anything other than this complex during his years on campus. He believes it levels the playing field for the Jackrabbits track program.

"I definitely think so and that's one thing that kind of pushed me to come here is to prove that SDSU, we can be good at track too," Belhaj said.   

While the original finish date was around Nov. 1, crews have been working quickly and a grand opening should take place mid-October.

Track and football will benefit from the space but every athlete will be able to use it including those participating in soccer, baseball and softball.

"There's almost a sense of 'too good to be true,'" Sell said. "To see a facility of this size, and one of the biggest in the country, if not the biggest, is right here in Brookings, SD and the state of SD. As the finishing touches have come in and some of the colors are in there, now it's not only big, but it's really nice. It really helps us see a huge future ahead for the Jackrabbits.

While the complex is a one-stop shop for a wide-variety of student athletes needs, just being able to get out of the cold South Dakota winter is good enough for some.

"I hope we get to use it in December when the playoffs start. That's when it would really come online for us and really help us improve because the last two years in the playoffs, it's been tough," Stiegelmeier said.

The complex coming together is the beginning of a new era for the Jacks. A $65 million, 19,000-plus seat football stadium is next.

"We will do some great things today, but it's about what can we do for the next 40-50 years and how can we build an athletic program that can be great for that long. And then how we enhance our university and hopefully people see how we enhance the state of South Dakota," Sell said.

The football stadium is scheduled to be completed by 2016.

Previous Story

Next Story




View featured stories

You may also like

Interstate Impasse

9/30/2015 10:17 PM

It's not the longest running construction project in America, but if you frequently drive through Sioux City, it may feel like it.

Full Story | Watch
Teen Helping Young African Women

10/1/2015 10:15 PM

When people hear about Tsegab's project they're often surprised.

Full Story | Watch
Diversity In Sioux Falls

10/4/2015 10:30 PM

Sioux Falls has become very diverse over the past few years, but what is it about the area that attracts so many from all over the world?

Full Story | Watch
A New Career

10/2/2015 10:14 PM

The Communication and Media departments offer 20 different areas of study at the University of South Dakota, but the newest one is already creating bu...

Full Story | Watch
A Papal Pilgrimage From KELOLAND

10/5/2015 10:09 PM

The Ridders planned their visit to see Pope Francis. Yet, in a huge surprise, they were also able to see another special person on their trip- their d...

Full Story | Watch