What kind of ‘Deal’ are we getting on the new Events Center naming rights?

You can almost smell how greasy this deal is . . .

Nobody really knows, heck, we might not even know even with this ‘exclusive’ interview that is vague;

When it came time to establish primary sponsorship for the new Sioux Falls Events Center, several of the city’s business heavyweights emerged.

No, THREE, heavyweights emerged. We have NO idea if there was any other companies involved.

The end result was a building named the T. Denny Sanford Premier Center.

What!? Why not just call it the Sanford Premier Center? Why is T. Denny’s name on this?

First Premier Bank, Premier Bankcard and Sanford Health have formed a 25-year partnership as corporate sponsors of the $115 million sports and entertainment facility, pending approval by the City Council.

The sponsors will set up an endowment to make an annual payment to the city to help defray operational expenses. Last year, a firm hired by the city to study naming rights valued the title sponsorship in the range of $350,000 to $500,000 a year.

And that annual payment is what?

The city will host a news conference today at noon at the Sioux Falls Convention Center to disclose financial details, but company executives shed light on the deal in an exclusive interview with the Argus Leader on Wednesday.

What light? I have read this article twice, and haven’t read anything new.

Sanford Health chief executive officer Kelby Krabbenhoft said that he did not pursue naming rights and did not get involved in a bidding war for sponsorship at the events center, which is scheduled to open in fall 2014.

“This is about making an investment, not chasing naming rights,” said Krabbenhoft, who discussed the arrangement along with First Premier Bank CEO Dana Dykhouse, Premier Bankcard CEO Miles Beacom and Sanford Health vice president Dave Knudson.

So who approached who? And what other companies were ‘chasing naming rights’?

“We were looking for a portal to make sure we could make a difference in how successful this thing was. I don’t remember one meeting where we sat around and thought about naming rights, because I don’t think we need much more of that. This was the portal that made our involvement possible.”

First Premier is the majority investor, and it didn’t take long to consider using the name of noted Sioux Falls philanthropist and First Premier founder T. Denny Sanford, who also is title donor to Sanford Health.

These two paragraphs are contradictory. You didn’t think about naming rights but it didn’t take you long to come up with a name? Kinda sounds like you thought about it pretty hard . . . and fast.

And what about the councilors being let in on this ‘deal’?

“We don’t have transparency on this at all,” Councilor Kermit Staggers said. “The mayor used to work for First Premier, and people in the community are closely associated with Sanford. We should have had openness … Maybe we really got a good deal, maybe we will. But we’ll never know because we never had any bidding going on out in the open.”

One councilor told me yesterday he didn’t hear about the announcement until after the press release was out. Talk about keeping our elected officials in the loop.

The contract between the city, First Premier Bank, Premier Bankcard and Sanford Health has been signed but hinges on City Council approval. Chairwoman Michelle Erpenbach said an executive session is scheduled for Tuesday with city attorneys to further discuss contract negotiations and ask questions. The full council will vote during a public hearing and regularly scheduled meeting Aug. 21.

So now that the cat is out of the bag, we still have to go into a secret meeting to discuss the contract? This should be an open meeting to the public, not behind closed doors.

“We believe strongly that the agreement presented and details shared will go a long way toward ensuring financial viability of the facility, giving every chance to operate in the black and be successful,” Smith said.

Who is ‘WE’ Darrin? You, Huether and Sanford? When you use the word ‘we’ in relationship to government, it should be ALL of our elected officials, not just the ones that agree with you and Huether.

Councilor Greg Jamison thought the council would have been briefed on contract details in executive session before the public announcement.

“That’s what’s funny about this process, it’s all out there … we don’t even know what the dollar amount or agreement is, we learn that (today),” he said. “When it’s the public’s money, there’s a higher threshold to do it in such an open way, so open there could never be any (question) of behind-the-scenes, under-the-table deals. This wasn’t done that way.”

But, Greg, you are not a part the elite ‘We’ group at city hall, just trust them. 🙁

But let’s go a little deeper and talk about Kelby’s involvement in this ‘Deal’. He pretends his hands were not on it, but he sure seems to know a lot of details about the naming rights deal;

As Sioux Falls goes, so goes its most prosperous companies. So a little bit of propping up can go an awful long way over time.

That’s why we do these things, like donating 40 acres to the city for football fields,” said Krabbenhoft. “The more we have these kinds of things, the more I can recruit better physicians and lure more talent, because they see a full community. I’ve gotten my heads kicked in a lot of times for doing this stuff, but we’ve stuck with it, and now the virtue of it is right there for everyone to see.”

Yup, Kelby went there.

Donating 40 acres and in exchange you got millions in a TIF deal that set precedent in the city. Thanks for the donation, but you really should be thanking the city for all the perks you have received over the years.

But let’s look at the timing of this ‘deal’;

FARGO, N.D. (AP) – Sanford Health is starting construction on a $541 million medical center in North Dakota’s largest city.

Groundbreaking for the Fargo campus was Tuesday. Sanford President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft called it a historic day. The facility is to open in 2016, serving more than 4,200 patients daily.

The 10-story medical center will include 460 hospital beds, 32 operating rooms and 51 emergency department bays. By 2018 it is to be staffed by more than 260 physicians working in 48 different specialties.

Sanford already employs more than 7,500 people in Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minn. The new medical center will create an additional 2,000 full-time positions.

Sanford is based in Fargo and in Sioux Falls, S.D. It has a presence in more than 100 communities in seven states.

Guest Poster contributed to this;

This article is kind of like our city government, spend without care because the spenders won’t be in office when the bill comes due.

Think about this, just as in Sioux Falls, Fargo had a fine medical system before Sanford Health got involved.  Now the king of the edifice movement is building more shrines to their ego. I have had to deal with a great deal of medical community in recent years, at many in-state and outstate medical facilities. Something I have noticed and has been confirmed by employees of the systems, is the constant overspending on something not needed. We’re not talking about one or two disgruntled employees but by career employees of several levels.

Instead of paying the employees a living wage, SH is spending borrowed money on another building.  The nursing staff, building maintenance and clerical continue to do more work for less.

The priorities of the Board of Directors of Sioux Valley Hospital (Sanford) and Avera McKennan are now geared only toward self-aggrandizement and not patient care.  How can the limited staff keep up with the additional workload for less pay.

I love the staff and doctors, they are humans doing a job without appreciation.  Oh sure, the hospitals spend a lot of money on ads telling us how much they care but really, but really…. We want to be able to check in when it is needed and checkout without catching something.  The staff is the way we can make sure we leave on time and safely.  The care they have given to my many family and friends I assist, under the less than optimal conditions, is amazing.  SH’s desire to keep wasting the trust of the community and the trust funds of the medical system are disgusting.

We used to have a medical system based on patient care first. The two primary hospitals bought equipment together and shared. Doctors were able to easily move between the three hospitals with ease to perform the best patient care possible. The patient is not the most important part of the system.  The billing system is geared so SH can pay for more spending spree items like buildings.

OMG, now Sanford is going to claim ownership of the Events Center by placing a phony billboard on its side.  Another endowment / slush fund boondoggle for SH’s edifice satisfaction.  Here’s an idea for SH, let’s just change the name of Sioux Falls to Denny’s!  I can see it now, get everyone to eat Denny’s Belly buster breakfast so we need cardiac care and you will finish owning all of us.

Sorry SH, Denny won’t be around forever, who is your next $ prey…


#1 DIANA SMITH on 02.28.14 at 11:00 pm

Who uses an initial for a first name? And who takes money from the poor and then ‘donates’ it to places who put his name on the organizations who receive his donations? T. Denny Sanford! I personally will not go to Sanford Hospital or any of their medical facilities ever again, and I will never step foot in any building named after this crook. All he does is steal from the poor and filter the money to places who will put his name on their buildings. I am so sick of hearing his name and seeing him on TV. A crook has taken over our town. I am no longer proud to live in Sioux Falls because of this man.

#2 The interesting Events Center Naming Rights timeline — South DaCola on 03.10.14 at 6:09 pm

[…] So while everyone ‘seemed’ so surprised, it was evident. Superlative was fired because the city wanted to ink a deal with T. Denny (Sanford Health) and they wanted to do it before a replacement company was hired (Legends). I guess I could say a lot of things about the misleading and blatant lies fed to us, but Kermit says it best in the Argus Leader article; […]

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