BROOKINGS, S.D. – Oct. 29, 2019 – The following statement was released by South Dakota State University pertaining to Hobo Day 2020 remaining on Oct. 31.
During the past few weeks, there have been several discussions pertaining to the university’s decision to have its 2020 Hobo Day celebration on Oct. 31. There has been considerable input, some voicing concerns about the date, but also a great deal of positive input from alumni, students and community members.
Hobo Day is a celebration of South Dakota State, the community and the state of South Dakota. It is the “Biggest One-Day Celebration in the Dakotas” and the university is committed to providing a fun, safe and entertaining environment during Hobo Week and Hobo Day itself, culminating with the Jackrabbits football game at 2 p.m. against Western Illinois.
The university recognizes the 2020 football schedule created some unique challenges. With only two home games in the month of October — the other being Oct. 10 against the University of South Dakota — the options for Hobo Day were limited. Scheduling must also include other events like Dairy Drive, Beef Bowl, Precision Ag Bowl, Military Appreciation and the South Dakota Showdown Series with USD. Senior Day, one of the university’s largest prospective student recruiting events, is also included in the schedule of home football games.
Conference football schedules are set well in advance, often years in advance as we have posted on our athletic website the conference schedule through 2022. A request to the Missouri Valley Football Conference was rejected to remove or change the Oct. 31 date. The request became an insurmountable task as it would impact 10 other schools and their football schedules next year. Playing the game at Western Illinois would alter the conference schedule to mean our football program would have only three conference home games with five on the road. It would also create a scenario that would deny our student-athletes, campus community and football fans a home game over a five-week period.
University leadership considered several scenarios when looking at the 2020 schedule and the events and sponsored games associated with six home games. There were several factors weighed that included the time of year, events taking place in Brookings and throughout the state, and the fact there will be an Oct. 31 home game regardless.
The university is committed to working with city leadership, community groups and others to ensure the 2020 Hobo Day celebration is inviting and enjoyable for everyone. This past weekend is a perfect example of how the community and university can work together and collaborate in the matter of a few days to create the type of event that is successful and community focused. Student groups on campus have already inquired about how they can help, and conversations have begun with community organizations on events and other activities that will enhance the Hobo Day experience for Brookings and surrounding communities.