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SD university spots arena projects clear hurdle

RAPID CITY (AP) — South Dakota’s Board of Regents has approved a new football stadium at South Dakota State University and a new basketball/volleyball arena at the University of South Dakota, the last hurdle before legislative approval.

The SDSU stadium will seat between 18,000 and 20,000 people and will cost between $60 million and $65 million. USD’s arena will seat 6,000, at a price tag of about $54 million. The Regents on Wednesday also gave USD the go-ahead for a $7 million outdoor soccer and track facility, the Argus Leader newspaper reported.

Regents Executive Director Jack Warner said the projects could benefit the entire state.

“This is a good recruiting device in getting more out-of-state students to come here,” he said. “It’s in South Dakota’s best interest to recruit and retain students because our younger cohorts are declining. This becomes a workforce and economic development issue for South Dakota.”

USD Athletic Director David Herbster said work could begin in the spring if the university successfully raises enough money. SDSU officials said football stadium construction could commence next summer. That project will be paid for mostly through private donations and bonds repaid by stadium revenue.