PREVIEW: 40 years of playoff football

Eye on KELOLAND

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Seven champions will be crowned at this week’s South Dakota High School Football Championships in Vermillion.

The idea of not having a postseason seems almost unthinkable now, but that was reality prior to 1981.
The push for the playoffs gained momentum in the 1970s and was spurred on by the opening of the DakotaDome in 1979.

“Before the DakotaDome was built I think there was some skepticism about playing games into mid-November,” SDHSAA Executive Director Dan Swartos said.

“It’s been nice to be able to play that last game inside regardless of the weather. I know we had a couple of times when I was in Rapid City we moved the game to the Dome for a semifinal because of the weather,” Roosevelt High School head coach Kim Nelson said.

In tonight’s Eye on KELOLAND, how a lawsuit ultimately brought playoff football to South Dakota
and how the game has changed over the past four decades

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