Sunday, October 30, 2011

Do We Need Two Event Venues?

Everybody has brought up just about everything when discussing whether this city needs to build an event center or not. Finances, revenues, build it and people will come, location, parking, chairs and pottys. What no one has specifically addressed is that with the building of a new event center, we will still have the Arena.

The Sunday Argus Leader Editorial stated:

The most compelling reasons to vote yes - and vote yes enthusiastically - are interrelated.

"First, practically, this city desperately needs a modern multi-use facility to host concerts, trade shows, conventions and sporting events. The Arena has served Sioux Falls well for more than half a century, but it no longer meets the needs - by any standard - of a city of 155,000 and metro area exceeding 225,000. More critical: It is woefully inadequate for a Sioux Falls of the next 10, 20 and 30 years."

Two operational budgets, two facilities competing for events, sports teams, trade shows, additional floor space for the convention center. Why isn't tearing down this event venue part of the mayor's plan if it is so" woefully inadequate?"

The Arena is not being torn down. The city is dedicating 2nd penny sales tax in the capital program to upgrade the Arena.  The 2012-2016 Mayor's Recommended Capital Plan has programmed over $2.4 million in Arena Building Improvements to be paid for by the Entertainment Tax. The same tax that is going to be used as a contingency to subsidize the operating costs of the Event Center in addition to paying for operating/capital improvement needs of the Washington Pavilion, Convention Center, Orpheum and the Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum. The city just spent approximately half a million dollars upgrading the electronic scoreboard at the Arena.

"Second, building an events center will represent an enormous symbolic victory for those who believe, correctly, that a city not moving forward is moving backward. Even more importantly, it would send a powerful message to those who oppose any vision for the future, no matter what reason they cite at the moment."

Building a second event center will represent an enormous symbolic victory? The city does not need to vote yes in order to give the mayor a symbolic victory to prove he and his supporters are the only ones who are moving this city forward, not backward. This statement is preposterous and totally discounts and insults those public officials and others in the community who just don't believe this plan will work. To say no, does not mean one is backward, has no vision for the future. This isn't about sending a powerful message, this is about what is good for Sioux Falls and its future.

The question remains - Does this city need two event venues competing with each other for revenues, events, entertainment tax funds for operating and capital improvements and vistors? Maybe the economic strength of a new event center is that it is the only event center in the city.


  1. We have a lot of material memorialized in the event that the vote passes. I think it would be great for Sioux Falls to build a new modern Event Center. But, and there is a but..., the current location is going to cause major problems for 2 years while this is being built. No parking at the Arena--it will all be torn up. Everyone knows that you won't be able to build this thing for what they are spouting. With interest it's going to be over $200M. This thing needs to be built with the biggest bang for the buck in mind. The corner of West and Russell aint it. And finally, the naming rights.. Can we get a couple of post-dated checks just to ease my anxiety? Mortensen Construction is going to come back with several if not hundreds of change orders. There will be cost overruns. And the mantra will be..."It was beyond our control...It really was.."

  2. Jen,

    Seems as though you have a lot of questions about this issue. Perhaps you should have them asked in a public forum so that many more citizens can think about them, and witness the answers given by city leaders.

    I'd suggest letting your readers, friends, and any other like-minded individuals know that they can have all their (very difficult) questions answered about this topic next Sunday, if they'd be willing to send them in to KELO-TV. Surely the explanations supplied by the mayor and others will be enough to soothe any mixed feelings you would have about the events center (wink wink).

  3. @anonymous 9:31 pm as the writer of this blog, I think it is pretty clear I have no questions nor do my feelings need soothing regarding the event center. You must be threatened by this blog to write anonymously. At least put your big boy pants on and be proud, be a leader and sign your name. (wink wink back at you)

  4. The Events Center is an issue that I understand in depth....

    I attended the 2009 Task Force meetings for 13 months, and was at Carnegie for all 18 of Mike's updates.

    I also have attended three of the Mayor's EC roadshows.....

    What have I seen at these roadshows?

    Half-truths and a whole lot of dancing when tough questions are asked!!

    SO, why would the public possibly expect to get answers Sunday, just one day before the election!!