Sturgis Rally Leaves Mark On Soccer Field
August 14, 2015, 10:11 PM by Kevin Woster
STURGIS, SD - The 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally left a mark on the economy of Sturgis and the Black Hills.
They're patched up and re-sodded, but tire tracks the Sturgis rally left on a city soccer field won't disappear anytime soon - on the field, or in the emotions of the local soccer players and fans.
"We voiced our opposition leading up to this, and now we are going to work hard to see we don't have this again," says Sturgis Soccer Association President Don Wolkenhauer.
The association failed to prevent the use of the soccer fields for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally event this year, for the first time in many years. And it didn't work out so well, for soccer.
"There was one area of the field that we had a couple of ruts from a truck that was moving out," says rally events producer John Oakes. "We've done sod repair and replacement on that area, and we kind of went above and beyond."
Oakes says he expects the repair work to leave the field in better shape than it was before the Sturgis rally.
"Any kid that's ever played soccer recently on the Sturgis soccer field would definitely notice, should notice a difference," he says.
The patched spots are healing. But opening games for Sturgis with Sioux Falls O' Gorman and Sioux Falls Roosevelt next weekend will have to be played at nearby Woodle Field.
Wolkenhauer expects play back on the damaged field in early September. He doesn't expect the rally events on fields next year.
"I really see the city council having a hard time signing a contract in the future, without a lot more feedback from the community than they got in the past," Wolkenhauer said.
Oakes says he has made donations to the soccer association and will help with a fundraiser. He says he won't ever again be involved in efforts to put vendors or acts on the soccer fields. And Wolkenhauer doubts it will happen again.
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