USD football to open at Yankton It will be a history-making event when The University of South Dakota brings college football to Yankton on Thursday, Aug. 30.
South Dakota will host #22 ranked Winona State in the Coyotes' home season opener at Crane-Youngworth Field in Yankton at 7 p.m., according to officials from USD, Yankton High School, Yankton Rotary Club and the business communities of both Yankton and Vermillion.
This is the first time that college football has been played in Yankton since Yankton College closed in 1984. As for the Coyotes, this is their first home football game outdoors since leaving Inman Stadium in 1979 for the DakotaDome.
"We see moving the home game to Yankton as an exciting opportunity," said USD Athletic Director Kelly Higgins. "We were hoping to open the season at home in the DakotaDome. However, that is not going to be possible because of the weather earlier this summer that delayed construction (on the new roof). We know they (Harris Construction) are working as hard and quickly as they can but it will not be possible to make the schedule that we set earlier."
The university began making contingency plans for football and the other USD athletic programs prior to the beginning of construction in March. One of the options the university explored was to move the first home football game to Yankton, if construction on the Dome was not completed.
According to Higgins, Yankton school and business officials immediately opened their arms to helping the university.
As part of this partnership, USD, Yankton High School, Yankton Rotary, as well as the Yankton and Vermillion Chamber of Commerce organizations will help make this first of its kind game special for people throughout the region. Already the Vermillion-Yankton partnership has come up with a cost-saving ticket plan for patrons. In addition, a tailgate party has been planned for the west end of Crane-Youngworth Field.
Special advance ticket price discounts will be available through selected Yankton and Vermillion area businesses beginning in early August. A portion of the proceeds from the advance tickets sales will be donated to area charities as decided by the service organizations involved in this team effort. Details about the ticket discounts and other event promotions will be made available in the very near future.
A partnership between USD and the Sioux Falls School District will take two other Coyote home football games to Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls in September. After playing Winona State, the Coyotes travel to Minnesota-Duluth, then return home to host their North Central Conference home opener with St. Cloud State on Sept. 15 in Sioux Falls. The next week, they will host defending league champion Nebraska-Omaha in Sioux Falls.
The Yankton and Sioux Falls games will start at 7 p.m.