Jackrabbits receive $12.5m for new Dykhouse Stadium for football

By Marcus Traxler Editor-in-Chief

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The long-awaited future for SDSU’s football program is much closer thanks to two key donations Saturday. 

Philanthropist T. Denny Sanford and Sioux Falls banker Dana Dyhouse will donate $12.5 million to the proposed $60 million new football stadium. The new stadium will carry Dykhouse’s name and will be named Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium. 

Sanford will donate $10 milion, while Dykhouse, who played for the Jacks in the 1970s and provided the lead gift on the Dykhouse Student-Athlete Center, will donate $2.5 million. 

The stadium, expected to be completed in time for the 2016 football season, will seat at least 18,500 fans and will have suites, loge boxes and ticket sales. The stadium will be a three-sided bowl and will have artificial turf. 

Dykhouse said it’s been part of executing a long-term goal for SDSU sports, that started with the football operations building in 2010. 

“We said South Dakota State deserves better,” Dykhouse recalled. “We started building a plan. Nothing good happens without a plan.”

Sanford said he it was hard to say no to his longterm friend in Dykhouse, even if it is $10 million. 

“I had the good fortune to come to South Dakota,” Sanford said. “It’s my home. If I were to have children today, I would send my kids to South Dakota State. Then I would have to send them to the Sanford School of Medicine,” he said, laughing about the donation he’s made to the in-state rivals in Vermillion.

“He invests in business plans, he invests in people and he invests in what he thinks can be successful,” Dykhouse said of Sanford.

SDSU president David Chicoine said he expects the stadium to remain on schedule for 2016 and that this is a good start in reaching their goal. The university will go before the Board of Regents in December for approval to put the matter before the state legislature  beginning in January. The stadium would be be built in phases, with the east and south sides to be built in the summer of 2015 and then the west side would be built in 2016. 

“These plans have been going for years at South Dakota State,” Dykhouse said. “When you put all of those things together, you can do something special. We are still true to who we’ve always been.”