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NFAA Easton Yankton
Archery Complex

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Yankton, SD 57078


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Yankton Preps for Summer Archery Event

While quietly settling into its new home on the east side of Yankton this winter, the National Field Archery Association is poised to have a big impact on the area this summer.

Three tournaments, pulling in hundreds of contestants from around the world, will occur in June at the joint National Field Archery Association headquarters and Easton Sports Development Foundation (ESDF) Center for Archery Excellence facility.

“The three tournaments this summer are going to be the biggest group of archers we've ever had in Yankton,” said Bruce Cull, president of the NFAA. “Everything is looking very positive for it. This June is going to be a good time for us.”

The International Field Archery Association World Bowhunter Championship will take place June 11-14, while the NFAA Unmarked 3-D Championship and the First Dakota Bank Archery Classic will unfold June 13-14.

“The schedule has been worked out so archers can compete in all three (tourneys),” Cull said. “We expect a great turnout.”

The First Dakota Bank Archery Classic, of which Yankton's First Dakota National Bank is a prime sponsor, will be the final leg of the NFAA's three-star tour and will feature a car shoot-off for archers who have competed in all three legs. The possibility of a million-dollar payout will also exist for those who have perfect scores at all three tournaments.

It's possible that the First Dakota Archery Classic will become an annual event.

“It's not set in stone yet, because it's brand new, and we haven't been able to see how it works,” Cull said. “We'll analyze it afterward.”

The first leg of the NFAA tour took place earlier this month in Las Vegas at the 2009 NFAA World Archery Festival.

In addition to Cull, Nate Franzen of First Dakota National Bank and Lisa Scheve of Yankton's Convention and Visitors Bureau were on hand for the event.

As with last year, Yankton was the only community with a presence at the festival to promote itself as a destination for archery enthusiasts. Scheve manned an exhibit with visitor information about the city.

“It pays to expose our community to this specific audience,” Scheve said. “We had a lot of people come up and say, ‘We're coming to the tournaments in Yankton this year. How do we get there? Where should we stay? Where can I rent a car?' We got less of the ‘why are you here?' questions (that we got last year) and more questions about what people can do while they're here.

“It's a good time for us to meet with the manufacturers and talk with them,” she said of the many exhibitors on hand for the event. “More and more people recognize us, either because they've been to Yankton for the different tournaments we've had, or because we've had hostings with them. It's a good time to put Yankton back on their radar screens.”

Yankton officials hope to eventually attract archery-related businesses to the community since the NFAA and the Center for Archery Excellence have given it inroads into the archery world.

Scheve said she hopes to attend the second leg of the three-star tour in Louisville, Ky., next month to further promote Yankton.

“During these economic times, it is very important to be able to bring in different visitors to the area and have them spend time in our community,” she said.

Cull said that not everyone would be leaving after the final shots of the June tournaments.

“Following that, we have about 100 people from foreign countries who are staying for instructor training at the new Center for Archery Excellence,” he added. “They will be around for the whole week.”

Along with landscaping around the NFAA facility this spring, Cull said the organization would also be prepping its 600-foot by 600-foot Olympic-sized field.

The organization is also working out how to move ahead with plans for a campground franchise on a portion of its property.

In December, local businessman John Hagemann sold 20 acres of his property south of Highway 50 along Bill Baggs Road to the NFAA. In addition, he donated approximately eight acres of land to the NFAA for use as archery tournament grounds. Hagemann was recognized this week for his generosity with an honorary lifetime membership to the NFAA.

“Everybody understands how neat of an asset (a campground) would be for Yankton,” Cull said of the proposed 80- to 100-site development. “(The NFAA is) all in favor of going forward with it. Things could go very quickly. They could also get drawn out if we don't get something that looks workable. But I think it's going to happen sooner rather than later.

“It would be good for the community, and it would be good for our association when we have big tournaments,” he added.

Cull stated that the NFAA is also working with area entities to find multiple uses, such as sporting events, for its outdoor archery area.

“The city and county came up with the incentive to give us that property (when the NFAA moved to Yankton),” he said. “We'd sure like to work with them to give something back.”