Northern State University prepares for new era of Wolves Athletics

ABERDEEN, S.D.(Press Release) – Northern State University is preparing to begin a new era of NSU Athletics with the opening of the on-campus Regional Sports Complex.

The first athletic competition will be the Wolves Football home opener on Sept. 11, with kickoff at 6 p.m. in Dacotah Bank Stadium vs. Southwest Minnesota State. The stadium, along with Koehler Hall of Fame Softball Field, make up the sports complex, which is the final project of the Educational Impact Campaign.

Northern is currently busy planning for the Sept. 11 inaugural event. Game-day operations will involve a team of more than 100 individuals, including those working security in the stadium and tailgating areas, as well as attendants in spaces such as the Kids Zone.

“This is a momentous occasion for Northern, Wolves athletics and the community of Aberdeen,” said NSU President Dr. Neal Schnoor. “We’re incredibly grateful for the supportive partnerships and generosity that campus has received from the community, region and state. We look forward as we set the stage for a new era of on-campus and community engagement.”

NSU Foundation President and CEO Zach Flakus said it’s an exciting time for NSU Athletics as well as Wolves fans.

“We’re taking Wolves Athletics to the next level, and there’s tremendous excitement among our fans for an enhanced game-day experience,” Flakus said. “But we truly want this facility to be a regional asset, and we expect it to be used for events including high school sports, band competitions and community concerts.”

Game Day Operations

On game day, Northern is coordinating with the city of Aberdeen and Aberdeen Police Department for crowd control and traffic flow. NSU is also in consultation with the South Dakota Board of Regents regarding alcohol policies, and intends to follow similar protocols as other BOR institutions.

“The city of Aberdeen fully supports NSU, and we welcome continued collaboration as Northern enters this exciting new chapter for Wolves Athletics,” said Aberdeen City Manager Joe Gaa. “We want to do what we can to assist the university and community residents on game day, and we encourage individuals to park in any of the designated city parking lots along with the campus parking lots.”

Parking Options

Northern is offering a variety of parking options for the Sept. 11 home opener and subsequent games at Dacotah Bank Stadium:

  • Free parking: There will be more than 400 free parking spots available on campus, located in the Washington Street lots and the lot north of the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Additionally, there will be free parking available off campus in the city parking lot located at the nearby Aberdeen Aquatic Center.


  • Paid parking: There will also be nearly 600 reserved parking spots on campus. This includes the parking lots located to the west and south of Dacotah Bank Stadium, which require a season pass purchase. The main Barnett Center lot will also require a pass purchase, though a limited number of parking spots in this lot will be available for purchase on game day for a price of $20 per parking space.


  • Tailgating: Tailgating will be allowed in any of the paid parking lots on campus, including the Dacotah Bank Stadium lots and the Barnett Center lot. Rules and regulations regarding tailgating are still being finalized; however, tailgating opens three hours before gametime and ends 30 minutes before kickoff. No tailgating will be allowed after that point.

Ticket Information

Any funds raised from paid parking – along with game day sponsorships, alcohol sales and a portion of ticket sales – will be used for maintenance of the stadium, including staffing and eventual turf replacement.

General admission tickets for all fall 2021 home sporting events are now live via Northern’s new online ticket platform. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door on game day. For premium or season ticket information and options, please contact Austin Hieb at or 605-228-9514.

“We encourage everyone to get their tickets in advance,” Flakus said, “and arrive early on game day so we all have plenty of time to enjoy the day’s festivities.”