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NFAA Easton Yankton
Archery Complex

800 Archery Lane
Yankton, SD 57078
605-260-9282
info@neyac.org

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Sunday: 12pm - 7pm

Archery Facility Continues Momentous Growth

What began as a dream many people thought was unattainable, has once again surpassed even the loftiest of expectations. On Friday, the National Field Archery (NFAA) facility, located in Yankton, celebrated the official groundbreaking of an addition that will more than double the current facility.

“(This is) the last phase of getting this whole project done,” said NFAA president Bruce Cull. “This was kind of a long-term pipe dream, I guess. But it has come to fruition now and I am pretty excited about it. We opened in 2008, so it has come pretty quickly and we are excited about that. It is pretty neat because this addition is bigger than the existing facility.”

Currently, the facility is 21,600 square feet. The addition, which will house the world's first indoor 90-meter archery range and a distribution warehouse, will add 25,950 square feet to the facility.

“We are going to have the first 90-meter indoor range anywhere,” Cull said. “We are excited about that because we are going to have a controlled environment where we can shoot year-round. In addition to that, we are going to add on a distribution center where we store all of our tournament equipment that we use around the country for our tournaments, for ourselves and USA Archery.

“It is a great day for us and it is great for the sport of archery.”

The new 19,000-square-foot range will push out the east side of the existing facility, with the distribution center added to the southeast side of the facility.

“I think that the center is an example of something huge that is happening right under our noses here in Yankton and in South Dakota,” said Lt. Gov. Matt Michels. “What started as a dream was fueled by a passion, and is now something that will actually continue to put Yankton on the map as far as National Field Archery, and also, Olympics. If you were to have asked people even a few years ago, you would have heard comments along the lines of, ‘You have got to be examining yourself.' It is hard to believe what they have accomplished in just three years.”

Cull said the dream he had of bringing archery in Yankton to the national and international stage would not have been possible were it not for the local and national partnerships.

“We can't thank enough all the partners that came through for us in this endeavor,” he said. “It is one of the great success stories for us in moving the center to South Dakota and how it all came together. The expansion is possible because of our great partnerships. Everyone from the National Field Archery Association, the city of Yankton, County of Yankton, Yankton Area Progressive Growth, at the state level the Governor's office of Progressive Growth, archery specific funding - and of course, our big shot in the arm has been the Easton Foundation. It is a great example of a lot of different entities working together to accomplish a common goal.”

Cull said the sky is the limit on the opportunities that will result because of the growth at the Yankton facility.

“We can look at different disciplines and opportunities in the off-season, which for us is January, February, March, so we will be looking at doing some bigger events during that time-frame,” he said. “I don't think there is any doubt that there will be growth in everything we offer here at the facility.”

Next on Cull's list of goals to accomplish for the facility is to gain designation as a Community Olympic Development Program (CODP).

“We are probably six months to a year away,” he said. “It will be a big feather in our cap to get the designation, though. I think we are on the right road and are getting everything lined up now. The CODP gives us the stamp of approval from the United States Olympic Committee, and it gives us the ability to go into their program and help the training and moving all the way up in the world of archery.”

The Yankton facility has already become a major player in the archery world, having hosted several international tournaments and, this week, hosting the first international coaching classes offered at the facility.

“It is a great thing. It is becoming an international facility and is a great thing for Yankton to part of the global economy as it were in a sense of what we offer in the terms of archery and bow hunting,” said Yankton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Dellinger. “It is a tremendous opportunity to have visitors from all over the world, as we do today. During the groundbreaking, today there are classes going on where instructors from around the world are being taught how to show the benefits of archery and bow hunting. It is great for the NFAA and it is great for Yankton. We just look forward to the positive growth that this facility and the events that will happen here bring to town.”

Another goal of the Easton Foundation and the NFAA with the expansion in the facility is to help grow the sport of archery at the local and national collegiate level.

“The collegiate programs are one of the main goals that the Easton Foundation has to get the programs going,” Cull said. “The NCAA considers archery an emerging sport. We will be working with Mount Marty College, the University of South Dakota and other colleges as well to get their programs up and running here soon. As far as hosting NCAA tournaments, archery isn't considered a sport yet, so I guess we can't cross that bridge until we get to it. But we do have collegiate events already scheduled coming up this year.”

With everything going on at the complex, Cull said it all comes down to helping grow archery as a sport in the United States.

“We get the opportunity to train athletes, to train archers, year-round,” he said. “Of course, because of the weather here, that is pretty hard to do in the winter. So now we have a facility where we can do that. (The facility) just has a lot of really neat things that will help us expand archery.”