The Bob Burns Dakota Bowl is staying put at Howard Wood Field.
After a dispute over contract language that created an impasse between the Sioux Falls School District (which owns the facility) and the Sioux Falls Catholic Schools, a compromise was reached Tuesday morning.
The agreement allows the game to be properly insured and keeps the event at Howard Wood Field, where it has been held since its debut in 1978.
The Knights will host Roosevelt in the annual football festival on Sept. 1, rather than having to move the game to Augustana's Kirkeby-Over Stadium.
"We are delighted that we reached an agreement and the game will be played at Howard Wood Field," said O'Gorman football coach and athletic director Steve Kueter. "I'd like to give the Sioux Falls public schools a lot of credit for working with us and getting this thing figured out."
The conflict stemmed from a clause that appeared in the Dakota Bowl lease agreement for Howard Wood Field starting in 2011.
At the end of a section absolving the district from liability in case of damages, the contract stated: "This includes any injury due to the design, maintenance and condition of the facility, property, and/or equipment used under this agreement."
Catholic Mutual, the insurance company used by the Sioux Falls Catholic Schools, balked at this wording in 2011 but managed to get the Dakota Bowl insured with a $1 million rider at an additional cost of $2,000.
The contract language became even more of an issue this year, since the Dakota Bowl will represent the first capacity crowd since Howard Wood Field underwent $6.7 million in renovations, including refurbished grandstands and a new press box.
At Tuesday's meeting, that section of the contract was re-structured to make it amenable to the parties involved and keep the game at its longtime site.
"The contract language remains the same," the Sioux Falls School District said in a statement to the Argus Leader. "A compound sentence was changed into two separate sentences, creating a new paragraph."
That was enough to satisfy the lawyers and keep the game from moving to Augustana, which would have required that it be played in the afternoon with a different date and opponent (Brandon Valley on Aug. 25).
"We appreciate the fact that Augustana was willing to help us out," said Kueter. "But to best facilitate the event, (Howard Wood Field) is the place to be in terms of space, parking, lights. It has everything you need to run that event like we're used to having it run."
If the game had moved, O'Gorman would have hosted Roosevelt the week after Dakota Bowl under the lights at McEneaney Field, giving the Rough Riders a tougher environment than if they had played at Howard Wood.
So Roosevelt coach Kim Nelson was happy to see the issue resolved.
"We love playing in the Dakota Bowl because of the atmosphere and pageantry of the game," said Nelson, who expressed his feelings to Sioux Falls activities director Mark Meile.
"It's one of the biggest games in the state every year, and I'm glad we stayed on schedule. It's better for us and better for the Dakota Bowl."
As for playing the Knights at Howard Wood instead of McEneaney Field, the defending champion Riders are pleased but still face a tough competitive scenario.
"I don't know if it's a big advantage to play at Howard Wood, because O'Gorman is pretty familiar with that place," said Nelson. "But we'd much rather play there than the Mac."