A day in South Dakota

The scene in Sioux Falls on Sunday afternoon, I can only imagine, played out in several towns along I-29 in South Dakota.

UND fans crowded restaurants and bars, stranded after a winter storm forced officials to close I-29 from Sioux Falls to Fargo. The huge contingent of fans who made the trip to Omaha for the outdoor game got stuck on the way home.

For myself and Herald writer Tom Miller, we were driving with three friends and decided to stop in Sioux Falls. We knew I-29 was closed ahead and decided to get stranded someplace where we could do some things.

First, we hit Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch. Then, I pulled out a Lebowski quote out and said: “Let’s go bowling.” The rest of the group liked that idea so we spent the afternoon battling each other on the lanes. Several UND fans tweeted me pictures of them doing the same in Brookings.

Then, we retired back to the hotel, where at least 75 UND fans happened to be staying as well. A hotel employee just laughed when I asked if this is more action than they usually see on a Sunday night. He said when he started his shift, there were 13 rooms reserved. Within six hours, there were 137 rooms booked.

So, we spent the night by the pool, hanging out with a great group of fans from Hazen, N.D., who found ways to make things interesting… like getting 70 people to buy rubber ducks from the gift shop, write their names on them and race them down the water slide with money on the line for the winner. It got intense.

Hopefully, the roads will get plowed and everyone can get home tomorrow (actually, a couple of the Hazen fans were hoping to get stranded another day). The team spent the night in Sisseton, and fans seems to be spread out between Watertown, Brookings and Sioux Falls.

The Herald has a photo gallery of fans passing the time while stranded. Check it out here.

And here’s a picture of the epic rubber duck races from the hotel.

10 thoughts on “A day in South Dakota

  1. It sure sounds like you guys are having a blast, guess that is what happens when you get a lot of Sioux fans in one spot with not much to do. I want in the duck race! Next time get stranded in Rapid City so I can get in on the fun. Good luck and stay safe on your trip back Monday.

  2. Hey Brad,
    Great stuff, this past weekend…..with the arena/ice issues, the blizzard, etc….will provide many long-lasting memories. Brad, I have only seen some video and a number of pictures so my perspective might be skewed, but why did “Omaha” arrange the rink in the manner they did? It seemed like the seats were quite a distance from the ice and many of the fans seemed sprawled throughout the large baseball facility. It seems to me it would have been better to set the rink along the first or third baseline and back it up to the home plate area. Then, haul in portable bleachers on the other side and block off much of the unused seating so all fans are around the rink area only. Did they think more fans would be attending so they wanted to ice sheet in a more central area on the baseball field? Anyway, do you have any comments or suggestions with regard to the rink set up?

    • Think of the pitchers mound. A 2ft permanent structure they cannot build on top of. That, and i dont know if you were there but it was perfectly planned in the right place. Everyone had a great view. Its the same placement as the Winter Classic.

  3. No, I was not there Brad, it just looked like y’all were sitting a fair distance from the rink. I did not realize the pitcher’s mound was a permanent structure….lol…thought it was just a heap of dirt. Anyway, I wish I would have made the trip, sounds like it was a lot of fun.

  4. Used to party with a group from Hazen back in the early 90′s. They had a house just behind (west) of the medical school. Next to sae, or at least on the same block. Good people.

  5. Oh my — Hope all make it home safe and sound! The ducky races sound like some fine, feathery fun :-) ! Thanks, as usual, for the news.

  6. I was the bus driver for Mr. Bus, it is owned by Ryan Spicer and Matt Marynik and the first trip we made was to Omaha. When we found out I29 was closed we jumped over to hwy 75 and got as far as Wheaten MN by 7 PM Sunday Night. We left there at around 10 AM this morning, took 75 to Moorhead, and we made it back to Grand Forks by around 4 this afternoon.

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