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Panel approves design plan for SDSU stadium

An artist's rendering shows the proposed new football stadium at South Dakota State University and the new indoor practice facility that is currently being constructed to the north. In all, an estimated $97 million will be spent on athletic facilities at SDSU by 2016. (Rendering courtesy of SDSU athletics)1 / 2
An artist's rendering shows the west side of the proposed new football stadium at South Dakota State University. The facility would seat more than 19,000 fans and would include suites and club-level seating. (Rendering from SDSU athletics)2 / 2

PIERRE -- The road to a new football stadium at South Dakota State University shortened a little more on Monday.

The SDSU building committee approved the facility design plan for the $65 million project, and it now goes to the state Board of Regents, who will have the final say on the design plan in May. The capacity of the stadium is slated at 19,359 seats and is expected to be done in time for the 2016 football season.

If approved in May, the building committee will then negotiate a guaranteed maximum price for the stadium. The current total project cost estimate is $64.9 million, and the stadium is not to go above $65 million in cost. Fifty-five percent of the stadium's cost ($36 million) will come from the sale of bonds by the university. Another 41 percent of the cost ($27 million) will come from donations and funds from the SDSU Foundation. The final $2 million in the cost estimate will come from university fee revenues, which are mostly paid by students.

The stadium will be named Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium, after the former SDSU football player and Sioux Falls banker donated $2.5 million to the stadium project in October 2013. In the same announcement, philanthropist T. Denny Sanford donated $10 million to the stadium and said the stadium should be named after Dykhouse.

The Legislature approved the construction of the stadium during this year's session.

Regent Dean Krogman, of Brookings, said some changes have been made to the university plan, most notably a 7 percent reduction to the square footage in the club level of the stadium.

The new stadium will include 14,100 general admission seats, 3,500 student seats, 1,219 reserved club seats and more than 500 seats on the suite and box seat levels. The stadium will also include a synthetic turf surface. SDSU is currently the only school in the Missouri Valley Football Conference to play its home games on a natural grass surface.

The construction of the stadium is supposed to begin this summer and the new facility will be built on the site of the current Coughlin-Alumni Stadium, which was built in 1962. The east and south sides of the stadium will be finished in 2015, with the west side of the stadium, along with the press box, club seating and suites finished in 2016. The initial construction bids for the stadium will be released this summer.

The university is currently finishing a $32 million facility -- the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex -- that will provide a 300-meter indoor track, 100-yard artificial turf field and practice space for SDSU's outdoor sports. The building sits north of Coughlin-Alumni Stadium and will open this fall.