December 15, 2019

Outdoors worked fine, but Dome will be best - Daily Leader Extra : Editorials

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Outdoors worked fine, but Dome will be best

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Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019 4:39 pm

Last week's South Dakota high school football championships, the first held outdoors in more than 30 years, turned out well.

Mid-November football outside in South Dakota is a bit of a gamble, and we were modestly fortunate this year. Temperature for kickoff of the first game was 29 degrees in Brookings, and in the 30s and low 40s for most of the others. But the temperature just two days before the first games got down to 1 degree in Brookings.

We're glad the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium at SDSU was available for the games this year, while the DakotaDome in Vermillion was being renovated. The games will return to the DakotaDome next fall, under contract with the South Dakota High School Activities Association through 2026.

The Dykhouse Stadium is a great venue, with a nice field, plenty of seating for a championship game and other amenities.

But the games belong in the climate-controlled environment of the Dome. Yes, we understand the fun of telling stories of how we braved the cold while cheering on our teams. But the reality is that many fans won't attend in freezing weather, and we want as many family members, students and other fans to be able to count on a pleasant environment while watching the games.

Moreover, a renovated DakotaDome will be even better for championships. There will be new permanent seating, improved concessions, club seating and other new services.

We're glad the championships went well in Brookings this year, but for the long-term, the games belong in the DakotaDome.

-- Jon M. Hunter