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SDSU Receives Funds For New Stadium

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It's no secret that South Dakota State University is proposing to build a new $60 Million football facility that would replace Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. Saturday it was announced that the school has received some major gifts to jump start the project, gifts totaling $12.5 Million.

In a matter of years, it's a possibility that the place Jackrabbits fans have called home for 51 years could be replace.

“In today's world, we have a stadium seating 11,000 seats and we are averaging 13,200 a game," said SDSU Athletic Director Justin Sell.

University officials have been talking about replacing Coughlin-Alumni Stadium and re-building for around 15 years. Saturday they announced plans that would move forward with the $60 Million dollar project.

"Our students deserve it. Our state deserves it. So it's time we move forward with it," said SDSU alumn and donor Dana Dykhouse.

But the plan isn't finalized yet. In December, the school will present the plan to the Board of Regents. The project would then go to the State Legislature for approval in the spring.

If everything is approved by the South Dakota Legislature, Coughlin-Alumni Stadium could be fully replaced as early as 2016.

"If we stay on track and we have the plan and we implement it, hopefully we can begin construction next spring," said SDSU President David Chicoine.

The new stadium is expected to seat up to 20,000 fans. It would have more concessions and suites, a way for the school to compete with other division one schools. Funded by bonds and private donors, the project would not affect the students, except providing them with a better experience come game time.

"We only have one thing to do. That's to transform their lives. We do that by giving them every opportunity to be successful academically and athletically and part of that opportunity includes facilities," said Chicoine.

Denny Sanford donated $10 Million and Dana Dykhouse, an SDSU alum and former football player, donated $2.5 Million towards the project. The proposed name for the facility is the 'Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium'. Construction will be done in phases, with the east and west sides to be completed in the summer of 2015, and west side the following year.
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