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NSU President Promises Community Will Benefit from Stadium

But Go-o-o-o-o Sport! says NSU President Tim Downs, who writes that super-duper things will happen for all of Aberdeen when Northern builds its very own football stadium on the current site of the School for the Blind:

Go SportsWe are grateful for Swisher Field, home for Wolves athletics for more than a decade, and we appreciate the collaboration between our community partners who share the complex. An on-campus sports complex will enhance our student experience and benefit the Aberdeen region. My vision for the complex includes marching band events, soccer games, softball games and an invitation to high school teams to play in these new facilities. Can you imagine Friday nights at Northern? Think of the economic impact of inviting area high schools to our community, not to mention the recruitment possibilities of hosting high school students on our tremendous campus [Tim Downs, “NSU Plans Will Be Major Boost to City, Neighbors,” Aberdeen American News, 2017.11.05].

Downs also promises to include more parking on the south side of the stadium, which could be a boon for summer events at Melgaard Park, particularly the June Arts in the Park, when cars pack the side streets and the curbs far up and down Melgaard Avenue… but only if the lots have access from State and Herret and thus can keep 17th Ave blocked off for safer pedestrian and vendor access to the park.

Let’s hope Downs also plans to include more parking on the north side of campus between the Johnson Fine Arts Center and the new science building. I attended the Aberdeen University/Civic Symphony last night, and it was wonderful! But the parking lot was filled to overflowing—let’s get more room for our arts visitors to park their vehicles as well!


  1. Scott 2017-11-05 10:59

    I struggle to understand how this will help NSU? I think this is coming from a new president and relatively new AD that do not know NSU. NSU is much different then a lot of campuses, in that NSU students do not stay around the community on weekends. Also NSU students are not that big of NSU sports fans. A few years ago when NSU played midweek basketball games, even that did not attract much of a student body presence.

    If NSU departs from the present Swisher Field on the ACHS campus, that would mean the school district will be responsible for totally operating that facility. I believe presently NSU helps maintain the present Swisher Field. Why have all these facilities that only get used a few times a year?

    NSU should work on adding more scholarships and adding degree programs to meet needs in this area of SD. That would help NSU grow. Sorry, but attracting a few more football, soccer, or softball recruits is not a good use of the multiple millions of dollars this is going to cost.

  2. grudznick 2017-11-05 17:09

    The artsy people can ride their bikes or amble and talk the high-brow talks on their way it. It’s the meat-eating head-thumping crowd that needs more parking. Everybody knows that football brings the money in to schools, not the band.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-11-06 05:13

    Scott, I agree wholeheartedly that the millions of private dollars NSU will spend on its new football field (including special VIP box seats atop the stands) would provide more value for the community if invested in scholarships and degree programs. Our universities appear to operate on trickle-down theory: give big donors nice seats at the game, and they’ll give us more money, and we’ll be able to provide more services to the students who are too busy studying or working to come to the games.

    You also make a good point about audience. NSU is deserted on the weekend; it’s interesting to hear that even midweek games don’t draw that much student interest. Does anyone have an estimate of student attendance at games now?

  4. Jenny 2017-11-06 08:37

    Interesting to hear that comment about NSU being deserted on the weekends. The most strikingly deserted college in SD on the weekends I had ever been to was DSU. By far and away a very dull place to be on the weekends.
    NSU is different b/c Aberdonians wholeheartedly support NSU and its sports teams. They have a long history of devotion to the college and attending the games. Unless NSU has changed in recent years the city of Aberdeen has always had staunch NSU team spirit.

  5. RahRahRah 2017-11-06 10:07

    Scott did you know that NSU leads their conference in attendance men’s and woman’s basketball and football?

    The NSU men’s and women’s basketball teams are mainstays in the Division II Top 10 attendance list, and have led the nation in attendance for nearly a decade.

    So you missed the mark a little in your post about students not supporting the Wolves.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-11-06 12:49

    There is lots of town spirit; I am curious about the proportion of students at games, especially on weekends.

    Jenny is right; almost no one is around at DSU on weekends.

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