Jonathan Ellis, ARGUS LEADER reporter, wrote a column on the assumptions used to develop the potential 34 new events if the Event Center is built at the Arena instead of Downtown.
AECOM, the firm hired to develop an economic analysis, assumes that 34 events with an average daily attendance of 3,500 people will be held each year if an events center is built adjoining the Sioux Falls Convention Center. The number is only seven events if it's built downtown.
I am hearing rumblings that the consultant used current shows to pad the numbers. How can current shows be used to show economic development? If the number included shows like the Home Show and Sportsman's Show, those figures would tend to skew the daily average, wouldn't it?
The Home Show, Sportsman’s Show and Lawn & Garden Show are all held in the March time frame, usually starting late in the week and going into the weekends. These are the same weekends that we want State Boys & Girls Basketball Tournaments and the Summit League Tournaments to be held at the Arena. So if we are going to use a newly connected events center to our convention center to expand the flat floor space for the Home Show, Sportsman Show & Lawn and Garden Show – how will we be able to host any of these basketball tournaments in the new events center.
As I recall, the mayor specifically used these shows as an example at the Q & A the other night. And Scott Kavanaugh used them in the Argus story yesterday . I don't know whose numbers are correct. I just know there are questions about the numbers. Maybe the city needs to go back to the consultant and ask them to enlighten everyone on how the numbers were developed. Lay it all out and get these questions answered so everyone can move on.
The city council has a big task ahead of themselves. They said they were committed to a review of the numbers and assumptions made in an economic analysis of a new events center. The only two councilors who seem to be up to the task are Jamison and Brown. The others seem to rubberstamp whatever the mayor wants. Look how they all rolled over on the $65,000 naming rights study. Let's hope they are up to the task.