Weather Forecast


Football-ready facility

Press Photo by Dustin Monke Casey Jackson, the project manager for Mortenson Construction, the company building the Badlands Activities Center, points to where the new stadium's box seats will be when it is completed.1 / 2
Casey Jackson, the project manager for Mortenson Construction, shows what the stadium's artificial Sprinturf looks like from underneath.2 / 2

The Badlands Activities Center doesn't look like a facility that will be hosting football games in a month -- but it's getting there.

Casey Jackson, the BAC project manager for Mortenson Construction of Red Wing, Minn., gave The Dickinson Press a tour of the facility last Thursday, saying that although the building won't be completed by football season, the field portion of the stadium is progressing well enough to allow games to be played there beginning in September.

Dickinson State athletic director Roger Ternes said Monday the school is formulating plans for seating and other logistical issues so the Blue Hawk football team can play their home opener against Wisconsin-Whitewater at the BAC at noon on Saturday, Sept. 5.

The laying of the Sprinturf on Fisher Field will be complete by this morning. Jackson said the company worked all night Saturday and Sunday to pour the turf's rubber infill.

On Monday, the scoreboard and video screen were in the process of going up.

Ternes said sod is scheduled to be laid Friday on east hillside where the stadium's temporary seating will be this year.

The athletic director said DSU is working with the city of Rapid City, S.D., to bring in five sets of portable seats that are designed to fit 240 people. Along with that, the school will pick up portable seating from the Dickinson Parks and Recreation Department and other entities.

"We hope to have enough portable seating in to seat between 1,500 and 1,700," Ternes said.

He added that people will be able to bring lawn chairs to sit on and that there will be seating on the field level for those who aren't physically able to walk up the hill, since the hill will not be handicap accessable.

DSU's game against Wisconsin-Whitewater will be the first played at the BAC. Dickinson High then hosts West Fargo at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 and Dickinson Trinity plays Carrington there at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12.

While Jackson said initial plans had the stadium's seating being completed by the time the football season began. But those plans changed due to the area's long winter and other setbacks.

"Relative to construction progress, the project is on schedule," Jackson said. "However, the project was started late due to the late spring and the bidding process."

Jackson said the company plans to have the building's shell finished and enclosed by November so work can be done on the interior during the winter months.

In a meeting earlier this month, Jackson said Mortenson hopes to have the building completed by mid-April.

Jackson said Monday the company pouring the track is scheduled to be in town this week. The track is scheduled to be poured and painted by Aug. 30.

"They've got prep work to do," Jackson said. "I wouldn't anticipate any product going down this week."

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

(701) 456-1205