Dakota State University students walking around campus

Preparation + opportunity = success

That's the DSU equation. We're a four-year university with nationally recognized programs, cutting-edge facilities, and the brightest thinkers. But we're also a tight-knit, inclusive community. Small class sizes mean hands-on training and individualized attention. All this with an affordable, public school price that's among the best values in the region.

Majors & Degrees

DSU receives lead donation of $7M for indoor practice facility

November 1, 2023

Phase I of the Dakota State University’s athletics master plan is well underway with the construction of the Athletics Events Center, football stadium, track complex, and soccer field, but the University is not stopping there. They have recently secured a gift that will help the institution move forward with Phase II of the plan, an indoor practice facility.

With a $7M lead donation from Philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, the University will look at a variety of plan options, but the initial consideration is a seasonal dome facility. This would be placed over the current Dan Beacom Track Complex and DSU soccer field, providing space for an indoor track/training environment from November through April.

“Phase II is a huge step forward for our athletics department,” said Jeff Dittman, Athletics Director at DSU. “An indoor facility, such as a dome, will be a tremendous training aid for multiple DSU sports as well as providing a competition venue for various high school and youth sports tournaments.  It will also be a competition center for DSU and girls’ high school softball programs throughout the region in the spring.  These teams that travel to Madison to practice and/or compete will provide a strong benefit to the community businesses as well.”

This facility would be of particular benefit for the indoor track & field athletes, who would no longer need to train outdoors or run in the hallways of the Fieldhouse. The structure will also impact student-athletes in cross country, football, softball, and other sports, such as soccer and drone racing, both as a practice facility and as a site for indoor meets. This versatility will benefit the recruitment and retention of student-athletes, Dittman said.

The community will also benefit from an indoor facility. Community groups and teams would be able to host various events such as youth tournaments, meets, and games. It could also provide a walking track for community members in the winter.

Inflatable domes, or air-supported structures, use air pressure to keep the dome inflated. If DSU moves forward with the dome option, it could be ready for use in late 2025. At 327 feet wide, almost 600 feet long, and 100 feet tall, it would be the largest dome facility in the United States.

“We sincerely appreciate Mr. Sanford’s generosity to provide options for our student-athletes,” said José-Marie Griffiths, President of DSU. “With growing numbers of student-athletes and plans to add additional programs such as soccer and drone racing, this expanded capacity will be invaluable for our programs.”

Contact Us

Jane Utecht
Strategic Communications Coordinator
(605) 270-3816

Email Us