Since 1981, South Dakota has had one facility up to the standard of hosting the state's high school football championships.
Now it has two.
Since South Dakota State University opened its new football stadium in 2016, the facility has clearly become one of the best facilities in all of NCAA Football Championship Subdivision football.
On Wednesday, the board that oversees the South Dakota High School Activities Association will consider moving the 2019 state football championship games to Brookings through finalizing a preliminary contract with SDSU.
That's because the west half of Vermillion's DakotaDome will be unusable in November due to a large renovation project, which will significantly reduce the available seating for the games.
But rather than being just a placeholder for this year's state championship games, 2019 instead should test whether the location should alternate between Vermillion and Brookings.
And if Brookings has a good showing this year, we say Dykhouse Stadium should absolutely be in the regular rotation to hold state title games.
Of course, weather is a major consideration. Dykhouse Stadium, with its turf field, is outdoors. In Vermillion, the climate controlled facility with no precipitation and a fast playing surface should not be undervalued. But we're ready to see title games played under any and all conditions.
For many years, South Dakota has played its semifinal games in all corners of the state and in all weather, from 40 mph winds, to snow, to driving rain and on worn-out grass fields. During those games, fans show up no matter what to support their teams, and they would do the same in the state championship.
In addition, most teams already practice outdoors leading up to the championship game.
During South Dakota's playoff era in high school football, the DakotaDome was the only facility in the state worthy of hosting the championship games, in large part because it had 10,000 seats and had a roof to protect attendees from the elements. But the DakotaDome has become somewhat of a tired facility, which is why the university is spending $26 million to make upgrades to the dome built in 1979.
At SDSU, the recently built $65 million stadium has more seats, including suites and club-level options, wider concourses and more concession stands. There's also a massive scoreboard for replays and highlights.
If the SDHSAA has a competitive bid process for every other championship it sponsors, such as basketball and volleyball, football should not be exempt, especially since there are now two worthy football stadiums in South Dakota.
Because of this, we're already looking forward to November and excited for teams to be Brookings-bound.