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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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Archery HQ Gets a Huge Boost

The plan for the National Field Archery Association headquarters in Yankton has just gotten a lot bigger than originally anticipated - almost three times bigger, officials announced Friday.

What was once to be an office with an archery museum and a couple permanent outdoor ranges has expanded into what is being called a Regional Archery Center of Excellence that will include an indoor archery range. The more ambitious vision will take the originally-planned 5,000-square-foot facility to 13,000 square feet.

Also included on the 39-acre site south of the Best Western Kelly Inn will be five permanent outdoor field or 3-D ranges, youth shooting and bowhunting practice areas, and an Olympic-style archery training and competition field.

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Bruce Cull, president of the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) and co-owner of Yankton's Dakota Archery & Outdoor Sports, said the $1.5-2 million project will make Yankton home to one of the premiere archery training centers in the nation. It will even be home to a full-time Olympic-certified coach to train archers who are aspiring to compete in the Olympics.

"I think this is just the tip of the iceberg with what's going to happen with this facility," Cull said. "I think it's a great, great thing for Yankton. What started as a dream several years ago has turned into a reality."

Cull said construction of the facility could commence before the end of the year.

A large contribution from the Easton Sports Development Foundation (ESDF) made the expansion of the project possible, according to Cull.

Don Rabska, executive director of the ESDF, said the impressive collaboration between the NFAA, City of Yankton, Yankton County and the Governor's Office of Economic Development made the decision of his organization to contribute very easy.

"With the entire state behind the project, I think that's absolutely wonderful," he said. "I don't think that's something you'd find in many states. It's going to be a phenomenal archery park and a great opportunity for Yankton."

The primary goal of the ESDF is to develop a competitive Olympic archery program that enables archers to hone their skills from a very young age all the way through to Olympic team training.

Cull anticipates that area colleges will use the facility and believes that eventually thousands of young adults from surrounding states will go through its doors every year.

The NFAA originally announced its plans in September to relocate its headquarters from Redland, Calif., to Yankton.

At the time, the Yankton City Commission agreed to provide $100,000 to go toward the purchase of land for the development. Additionally, the city forgave $5,600 in special assessments against the property, and agreed to maintain a pair of 28-target archery ranges on the site that would be made available to the public. Yankton County provided seven of the 39 total acres being sought for the headquarters.

In return, the NFAA agreed to build a 5,000-square-foot or larger office building. It must operate in Yankton for at least five years, employ four full-time equivalent workers within three years at average or above-average wages and work in good faith to hold some of its regional, national or international tournaments in Yankton.

Yankton Mayor Curt Bernard said in a media release Friday that the project will create national attention for Yankton and will be an asset to the University of South Dakota, Mount Marty College and many local and regional schools.

"Clearly, the investment by the Easton Foundation is a huge step forward in creating world-class Olympic archers through a state-of-the-art training facility," he said.

Gov. Mike Rounds said in a media release that the project will be an asset to the entire state.

"Hosting world-class events in Yankton will have a significant impact not only on the economy, but on our ability to promote our state," he said. "The establishment of the Archery Center of Excellence will give us national exposure both for outdoor recreational opportunities, as well as help us attract businesses that support the industry."

In addition to Olympic training, the Archery Center will focus on supporting community, interscholastic and college archery programs. It will provide a home for South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks, as well as Nebraska Game & Parks, bowhunter and hunter education programs, Boy Scout activities and archery competitions.

Cull said there are ongoing discussions with the ESDF about future investments in the facility and a possible scholarship program. Economic development officials also continue to investigate the possibility of archery-related industries locating facilities in Yankton.

"I think this is the tip of the iceberg for us. I really do," Cull said. "The dollars that are going to come in, not only during the summer months, but year-round from this are going to be huge. People are going to be staying here. They're going to be spending more money here."