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Rochester Sports Foundation Board visit Sanford Sports Complex

By Ed Hruska

July 18, 2023

Each year the staff and board of Rochester Sports Foundation plans and visits a new regional sports complex. In 2021 the group went to Wisconsin Dells/ Mauston area to visit the Woodside Sports Complex. In 2022 the group went to Davenport Iowa and visited the TBK Bank "Bettplex", Coralville Iowa and the Xtream Arena and Woodmen Baseball Park. In 2023 the plan was to visit the Sanford Sports Complex in Sioux Falls SD. 

There is nothing like driving to and walking through a sports complex. These facilities have been planned for and financed in a way to attract visitors yet be used and enjoyed by their communities. Seeing them in person helps us to draw conclusions that we can apply to facility planning in Rochester.

Here is a summary of the complex and some details. In 2012, the Sanford Sports Complex opened to reaffirm and strengthen Sanford Health’s commitment to sports performance in the region. Now, the Complex hosts more than 2.4 million visitors annually, giving athletes and fans the opportunities they need to train, compete and cheer on their favorite teams.

The Complex has expanded over the past decade to offer new, exciting ways to elevate athletic development and competition. The Sanford Fieldhouse opened in fall 2012, with the Sanford Pentagon following a year later. Several other athletic facilities and accommodations have popped up on our campus since we first broke ground, and we’re not done growing. More expansions are always in development. We’re proud to be the home turf of Sanford Sports.

PENTAGON: The Sanford Pentagon hosts a variety of programs, special events, concerts, and competitions. From national tournaments such as the Crossover Classic to basketball and volleyball academy programs, the Pentagon is the cornerstone of the Sanford Sports Complex.This state-of-the-art facility was busy with one thousand volleyball campers during our visit. It includes high-definition video boards, throwback courts and executive suites with period-specific finishes reminiscent of the nostalgic days of basketball. We were impressed by the theme of the entire facility which also housed the Hall of Fame for the state.

FIELDHOUSE: The Sanford Fieldhouse is the premier indoor sports facility for local, regional and national athletic training, soccer, baseball, softball, football and athletic performance programs. This 90,000-square-foot facility is dedicated to training, play and competition. They shared they host Sanford Sports Academy training and a variety of performance and fitness programs to help athletes perform at their peak – no matter their sport.

SANFORD DIAMONDS: The Sanford Sports Complex now features five FieldTurf softball and five FieldTurf baseball fields. These fields are open to athletes, teams and leagues interested in playing at a world-class facility right here in the Midwest. The ten new fields were part of a 1.7 million-square-foot turf project, one of the largest outdoor turf projects in the country. All fields include lighting for night games, bullpens, digital scoreboards and live-streaming capabilities. The Diamonds are available to rent for practices, games, tournaments and leagues.

SANFORD CROSSINGS: The Crossing includes eight brand-new synthetic turf multipurpose fields for soccer, lacrosse, football and a variety of other sports. Whether it’s a tournament, sports training program or youth or adult league game, we can host it here. The new fields were also part of a 1.7 million-square-foot turf project, one of the largest outdoor turf projects in the country. All fields in include lighting for night games. The Crossing is available to rent for practices, games, tournaments and leagues. 

Funded primarily by donations from local businessman Danny Sanford, additional facilities are planned for this complex. 

In addition to the facilities listed above there was a three-tier golf complex known as Top Golf. It also had a sports bar and restaurant and held many social and corporate events there. Additional hotels and restaurants have recently been added with several more planned. It was obvious the sports complex was driving new development in the area.

We left Sioux Falls with a day of observing a very well thought out and constructed sports complex with good infrastructure and plenty of room for future growth and expansion. We were grateful for the professional hosting we received from all of those we met with at the Sanford Sports Complex.