The 'crown jewel': Kruger-Hemmen Sports Complex opens in Dike

DIKE – Spirits were high at Saturday's grand opening of the Kruger-Hemmen Sports Complex just off of Highway 20 in Dike, even in the midst of cooler, windy conditions.


"The sun's not shining today," Mayor Mike Soppe said, "but I know it's going to shine on this place for many years to come."


The $1.6 million venue built on a 25-acre site adjacent to the major four-lane and Fox Ridge Golf Course was officially opened to the public after a process of planning, building and donations of either funds and/or labor by many residents and businesses in Dike that took it from concept to reality in less than four years.


The complex is named for two of the biggest donors to the project–Dennis Kruger, founder of Dike's Kruger Seeds, and Kevin Hemmen, Dike resident and president of Waterloo Warehousing & Service Co. Inc.


The idea sparked off a conversation that the two men had while getting their mail in Dike, and it immediately found sympathetic ears among members of the Dike community who acknowledged a need for space for youth sports in the city.


"I remember my grandson was at a tee-ball game," Hemmen said. "And before it could be completed, there was a scheduling problem, and some older kids came in with a game (and) the younger kids had to go into the grass some place. That started the thinking, 'Gosh, we need some more facilities,' and it grew to this."


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