South Dakota State, Drake to play at Target Field in 2023

By Kevin Kelley -

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits and the Drake Bulldogs will play at Target Field in 2023, both schools have announced.

South Dakota State will host Drake at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. The game will be a home contest for the Jackrabbits, who were originally scheduled to host the Bulldogs at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings, S.D.

“The Minnesota Twins organization is thrilled to host SDSU football as the Jackrabbits continue defense of their first-ever national title right here at Target Field,” said club President & CEO Dave St. Peter. “We cannot wait to again revel in the pageantry and tradition of college football, and are beyond excited to welcome SDSU, Drake and their respective fans and communities to downtown Minneapolis and our beautiful ballpark.”

Target Field is the home of the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball. The stadium has a seating capacity of 38,544. Previous college football games hosted there include St. Thomas vs. St. John’s in 2017 and North Dakota State vs. Butler in 2019.

“We’re honored to partner with the Minnesota Twins organization and want to thank our counterparts at Drake for their cooperation in making this game at Target Field a reality,” said SDSU Director of Athletics Justin Sell. “This game provides us with a great opportunity to showcase Jackrabbit Football in a location with one of our strongest alumni bases and also a key area within our recruiting footprint.”

South Dakota State, a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference, and Drake, a member of the Pioneer Football League, first met on the gridiron in 1945 and have played 13 times overall. In their most recent matchup in 2019, the Jackrabbits defeated the Bulldogs 38-10, but Drake still leads the overall series 8-5.

“For the second year in a row, we will go toe to toe with the defending FCS national champions,” Drake football head coach Todd Stepsis said. “While we’ve always enjoyed the great atmosphere and first-class treatment from South Dakota State in Brookings, to have the opportunity to experience competing against the best of the best in a venue like Target field will be something our team will never forget. I can’t wait for them to hear the news along with our families, alumni, and fans in the Twin Cities.”

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