SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After moving the South Dakota high school football championships to Brookings last fall, due to renovations at the DakotaDome, the event returns to Vermillion this week. The first game gets underway at 11 a.m. Thursday. Here’s what fans need to know before cheering on their teams.
The newly-renovated DakotaDome is set to host seven high school football championship games, and COVID policies are in place for fans.
“Scaled up a little bit now that you’re bringing 14 communities together in one place over three days,” SDHSAA Assistant Executive Director John Krogstrand said.
Among the policies, a mask is required to be worn in all public spaces at the state’s public universities, and will be strictly enforced.
“Before anyone can enter they’ve got to have that mask on and we will be policing it throughout the stands to have folks keep them on throughout the contest,” Krogstrand said.
The policy will continue at next week’s state “AA” volleyball tournament in Brookings.
“We’ve got to continue to be a vigilant as we can, and certainly respect the policies of our host institutions and host venues,” Krogstrand said.
All four entrances at the DakotaDome will be utilized. Your ticket will indicate a preferred entrance.
“Concessions, restrooms, all those kinds of things, t-shirt sales are on both sides, so there’s really no reason to go back and forth, just makes it a lot simpler to come into the one side, go right to your seat, and enjoy the games,” Krogstrand said.
Once indoors, the Activities Association, in conjunction with USD, has created a socially distanced seating policy.
“Groups are still allowed to sit together, a maximum of eight, but essentially you can get that group seating, and then there will be seats blocked off in the rows ahead of you, in front of you, and then on either side,” Krogstrand said.
After a season of uncertainty, Krogstrand is thrilled to see the football season end on the field.
“Being able to have that here this weekend is nothing short of phenomenal what our schools and athletes and everybody have done to get us to this point, and yeah, let’s go play and enjoy the weekend,” Krogstrand said.
Tickets are still available for all seven championship games through the USD ticket office.