Training fields

A look at KELOLAND: Fields of Dreams


SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – If you’ve been to Great Shots in Sioux Falls for the past few months, it’s hard to miss the massive construction project on the grounds surrounding the site.

The Sanford Sports Complex is currently transforming 173 acres of land into one of the nation’s premier outdoor sports facilities.

The Sanford Sports Complex creates its own dream fields.

“We are building an opportunity for the children and families of this community and an opportunity for the community to really have a sense of pride,” said Sanford Sports President Steve Young.

Sanford Sports President Steve Young said the project doesn’t stop at baseball and softball.

“18 new grass pitches, all of them are going to be lit so we can play these shoulder seasons, we can also play late at night if we need to, but there will be five baseball, five softball, then eight of the multi-purpose courts and it will be for everything from soccer to lacrosse to flag football,” Young said.

“It’s 1.7 million square feet of grass. As far as we know, it’s the largest of its kind in the country,” said Mammoth Sports Construction Vice President of Construction Operations Matt Hohn.

Mammoth Sports Construction is the team behind the construction.

“We started to get into the turf world and it really showed what we can do and what we are capable of,” Hohn said.

Mammoth has offices in Sioux Falls and Kansas, completing projects for pro, college, and high school teams. Vice President of Building Operations Matt Hohn says this build is something special.

“The sky’s the limit when it comes to projects of this nature in this area and being able to promote this and work with Sanford has been a game-changer for Mammoth,” Hohn said.

Hohn currently has 40 to 50 workers on site each day.

“We have people laying sod today, we have people putting fencing fabric all over the site, we have people doing electrical, plumbing, masonry,” said Hohn.

The number of workers will double when the weather warms up. The turf they install is a product called Field Turf XT-50.

“What they are going to feel when they walk on these fields is a natural feeling. You will feel like you are on the grass. You’ll feel like you’re on a real playing surface. The only difference is that it’s consistent through and through,” Hohn said.

The advantage of the product is playability in all conditions. Hohn says it has the potential to be a year-round facility.

“If it snowed yesterday and it was light snow, chances are the turf will melt and if people want to brave the cold and be out there and practice and warm up, they’ll do it. certainly can,” Hohn said.

“If you look at the schedule of events that we can run with our buildings and fields here, we’re missing a huge opportunity in the spring, summer and fall,” Young said.

Whatever the season, the mission now is to bring new outdoor sporting events to Sioux Falls.

“You could have a dream scenario where we end up with a 100-team football tournament, 50-75 softball, 50-75 baseball, all of this while stuff is still happening here behind us at the Fieldhouse and the Pentagon. “, said Young.

“It’s also about quality of life, it’s about people looking for where to move, businesses deciding where to expand and move, because it adds another element to your community, which all communities want,” said Teri Schmidt, Executive Director of Experience Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls executive director Teri Schmidt says the significance of the project extends far beyond the land.

“They’re going to go somewhere and eat, they’re going to go somewhere and shop and do other things and that visitor dollar will ripple through the whole community and make the community that much healthier,” Schmidt said.

The complex should be finished at the end of August. Young hopes to host a major soccer tournament this fall, but has his eye on the future.

“Our calendar is really the excitement of what 2023 looks like for this campus? That’s when people are planning their tournaments, their vacations, their ‘tournaments,'” Young said.

This is not the end of the road for the resort.

“The campus will expand. There’s momentum on campus just because of those areas, but also with some of the other announcements we’ve had recently,” Young said.

Future projects include a hotel, a virtual care hospital and an applied research laboratory.

“You open your eyes to a really big campus and if you’ve never seen it before, it blows your mind,” Young said.

The Sanford Sports Complex expansion was made possible by a $300 million gift in March 2021 from T. Denny Sanford.

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