Progress through collaboration

Teresa Taylor — Staff Writer 

Dordt University and Sioux Center shared a pair of oversized scissors to cut the blue ribbon marking the grand opening of the American State Bank Sports Complex on Jan. 20, 2023. The event began in the complex’s lobby at 1 p.m. and concluded with the ribbon cutting on the turf shortly before 2 p.m. 

City Manager Scott Wynja opened the event by thanking the current mayor and city council members, as well as the previous mayor and council members. He also thanked city staff members, the contractor crew, Sioux Center Health, Heritage Village, Sioux County Youth Fair, and Dordt, particularly its athletes. 

In addition to Wynja, the grand opening’s speakers included Dordt Director of Athletics Ross Douma, ASB President/CEO Stan Speer, Iowa Economic Development Authority Debi Durham, Dordt President Erik Hoekstra, Sioux Center Mayor David Krahling, and Sioux Center Chamber Chairperson Daniel Finley. 

During his time at the podium, Hoekstra shared the story of his first visit to a sports dome 14 years ago and the seed it planted. Roughly three years ago, the university and city began raising funds for the $9 million, 118,000-squarefoot facility. 

“You can tell when a team has momentum,” Hoekstra said, claiming the complex shows the momentum of the city, region, and state. “Momentum is most powerful when it’s coming from everywhere.” 

Hoekstra warned against the loss of momentum. Neither he and the speakers nor American State Bank are solely responsible for maintaining it. According to Hoekstra, each citizen of the city works to keep the energy alive and moving. The ASB Sports Complex offers a place for citizens, Dordt students, and visitors to come together in community. 

In preparation for the opening, complex director Carrie Krohn researched other sports domes and has been a liaison between Dordt and the city. She hopes the community will take advantage of the facility’s hours of $5 open turf, which will be presented weekly on and the complex’s social media, as well as memberships for walking/jogging and batting cages. Krohn urges the community to ask questions and offer suggestions. 

“If people don’t contribute to its growth, it’s hard to serve everyone,” Krohn said. 

Krohn has also trained 25 student-workers, who will manage the front desk, greet visitors, and assist with concessions and admission to games. 

Brandon Hansen, a junior and men’s soccer player, accepted a work-study position at the Dome in December and began working when the complex opened. He also assisted with the construction. 

“I enjoy building, and it was great to work with others,” Hansen said. “It was a very long day, which was frustrating, but life is about perspective. We now have an amazing facility and all it ‘cost’ me was one 14-hour day.” 

The soccer team will have morning practices in the complex. Though Hansen looks forward to the practices, he is not as excited for the 6 a.m. time slot. The additional space will also maintain momentum of athletes during the off-season. 

“My time here in soccer has been very special because of the new opportunities,” Hansen said. “We have been able to put up new outdoor lights and now a dome to help bring this program forward.” 

Hansen mentioned the advantages the complex will give Dordt “in training, recruiting, and potential gameplay.” The complex will be a draw for incoming students and a professional atmosphere for opposing teams. While there are kinks needing ironing, the complex’s staff is working to answer questions and maintain order in the facility. 

“Giving the work-studies and Carrie some grace and trying to be flexible goes a long way,” Hansen said.

Photo credit: Teresa Taylor

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