Dakota Days is a campus-wide celebration of school spirit. With an entire week of events, hundreds more people are brought into Vermillion.
One event so many people come into town for is the football game.
USD is playing Youngstown State for the D-Days game. Bryan Boettcher, sports information director, said he’s looking forward to this game because of the sizable crowd.
“In addition to being one of the great traditions at USD, Dakota Days is special because there is an entire week of events and celebrations that lead up to Saturday’s football game,” Boettcher said. “This is perhaps the Coyotes’ best start at the Division I level, and a game featuring an undefeated USD team against a top opponent with a packed DakotaDome should be an exciting and entertaining event for USD and our community. It will be a great opportunity for our football team.”
Business picks up in downtown Vermillion during the game as well.
Charlie’s, a store full of USD fan gear, is just one of the businesses impacted by the D-Days crowd.
Tena Haraldson, director of marketing, communications & university relations, said she thinks D-Days brings more people to Vermillion than any other event in the year.
“Our best customers are students, families, fans and alums of USD, and D-Days week is all about those people,” Haraldson said. “They return for festivities on campus and to see old friends, and they enjoy the events that remind them of their wonderful days as students at USD. We encourage everyone to wear red and show their Coyote pride during D-Days week, and the Charlie’s store is there to supply the whole family from kids to pets and everyone in between.”
Owned by Molly and Todd Radigan, Main Street Pub is another downtown business impacted by the amount of people D-Days brings.
Todd Radigan said the restaurant is positively affected by the larger number of people.
“It’s such big deal for business,” Radigan said. “It’s like getting three really good weekends in one day. Morning business is getting bigger and bigger.”
This year’s game marks USD’s 101st D-Days football game. Boettcher said there are three games each year that typically sell out: the home opener, the matchup with either SDSU or NDSU and D-Days.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how we match up with Youngstown State, the defending national runner-up and a top-five ranked team through three weeks of play,” Boettcher said. “We have yet to beat these guys, but we have been as impressive as any other team in the nation to start this season. A rowdy and raucous D-Days crowd will give us the edge we need to take another step forward.”
Radigan said he’s expecting to see around the same amount of people he’s seen come into the restaurant each year.
“Even on slower D-Days weeks, we still usually do pretty well,” Radigan said. “We’ve got a good staff, so I’m pretty excited about this year.”
In preparation for D-Days, Haraldson said Charlie’s tries to provide a variety of new merchandise to help increase sales. Charlie’s sales help fund scholarships for USD students, so Haraldson said she encourages all Coyote fans to stop by.
“The D-Days crowd certainly increases our sales, but it does more than that,” Haraldson said. “It allows our staff to visit with Coyote friends and fans from near and far. When people come to Charlie’s store, they tell us wonderful stories about their memories of USD. Often they tell us how proud they are to see a USD store in downtown Vermillion and how excited they are to find a great selection of spirit wear. You can feel the Coyote pride in the air.”
Haraldson said she’s excited to see how many people come out and show their support and spirit.
“Our football team is doing great this year – nationally ranked – and we expect a sold-out crowd for the D-Days game,” Haraldson said. “It’s a great week to be a Coyote.”