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NFAA Easton Yankton
Archery Complex

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

Hours

Weekdays: 9am - 9pm
Saturday: 10am - 7pm
Sunday: 12pm - 7pm

National Archery Complex Keeps Up Its Momentum

Approximately a year after the National Field Archery Association Headquarters (NFAA)/Easton Sports Development Foundation Center for Archery Excellence was dedicated, the momentum around the facility has not subsided.

This weekend, it hosts the NFAA Unmarked 3D Championship and the Dakota Archery Classic, which are expected to draw between 150-200 competitors.

Additionally, a couple more competitive events are planned for later in the year, according to NFAA President Bruce Cull.

“Throughout the summer, we're hopefully looking at 1,100-1,200 participants and probably the same in support staff, friends and relatives that come with them,” he said. “It should be a good shot in the arm for the economy of Yankton.”

Cull spearheaded the effort to relocate the NFAA headquarters to Yankton several years ago and was instrumental in getting the Easton Sports Development Foundation to build a facility here, as well.

He has even bigger dreams for the development on Yankton's east side. Cull is coordinating efforts with the city to investigate the possibility of getting a Community Olympic Development Program in archery located at the complex. The United States Olympic Committee has partnered with sport groups across the nation to create six such programs that provide training in fencing, weightlifting, judo and a variety of other activities. None of them offer archery.

“What we have here already is the equivalent of an Olympic archery training center,” Cull said. “I think that if we can get our ducks in a row … we have a great potential to really put Yankton on the map a little bit more and get some great economic development opportunities.”

Although Cull admits the details of what it would take to get the facility to that next level at this point are hazy, he has plans under way to get those questions answered. Upgrading the complex would fit within with the vision of the Easton Foundation to create programs that could eventually lead to the United States winning all the archery gold medals at the Olympics.

“It's going to be a whole bunch of things falling into place - the facilities, the community, the state. Everybody will have to work together.” Cull said.

In the meantime, the NFAA has been putting the finishing touches on improvements to the complex made possible by approximately $200,000 worth of grants from the Easton Foundation. The 520-by-500-foot Olympic-size outdoor archery field now has a chain link fence around it. It has also been seeded with grass, and an irrigation system has been installed. In addition, a covered shooting line is just about constructed.

“It is one of only a few in the country and is state-of-the-art,” Cull said. “It's a nice big shaded area with a 12-foot sidewalk that will be handicap-accessible.”

Cameras to capture the motion of arrows during archery training have also been purchased.

“We're very fortunate to have Easton as a partner in this,” Cull said. “Their vision of getting people exposed to the sport is very obvious through their giving.”

In July, the NFAA hopes to open a KOA campground with approximately 90 pads that is under construction on its property.

City Manager Doug Russell said he couldn't be more pleased to have a national organization like the NFAA in the community and has assisted it as it has developed its complex.

“It continually puts Yankton's name out there,” he said. “The more we can build on that and achieve the goals of the Easton Foundation of bringing home a slate of medalists in the Olympics, the better off that sector is in Yankton. It's a very important sector in the community.”

The city is interested in finding ways to get more individuals in Yankton for archery training and has actively attempted to recruit archery-related businesses to the area, according to Russell.

“It seems like a viable partnership to have different manufacturers locate here in Yankton, as well as have entrepreneurship opportunities,” he said. “Those are the things we're continuing to look at through economic development efforts.”

Cull said he is amazed that things have come together in Yankton as quickly as they have. Last year, the facility averaged 43 people a day. The complex has eight full-time employees, which was more than expected at this point, and the community has been very supportive of the NFAA.

The organization hopefully gives back to the community in the form of visitor revenue and archery opportunities, Cull said.

“I think one of the big things we were able to show the community with archery was how much money is really spent here,” he stated.

The archery tournaments, and the practice many participants do ahead of them, last anywhere from an extended weekend to an entire week.

“In addition to hotel rooms, those people eat 22,000-25,000 meals in Yankton,” Cull said. “It's huge for a small town.”