So when is the parking ramp scheme going to rear it’s ugly head?

We are already seeing it, parking problems at the arena site. The city was warned about this even before the new Event Center location was chosen. What can we expect when the Event Center opens it’s doors? Shuttle buses?

To eliminate congestion there will be a free shuttle service running from the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds to the arena complex.

Some may ask why a parking ramp was not included in the new EC plan? In fact I asked the question at a council meeting. Crickets. One can assume it would have added too much to the price-tag of the the EC, which would have made it more difficult to sell the idea.

Let’s face it, a parking ramp makes sense, and you could charge patrons to use it. Would you be willing to pay a few bucks so you could walk a couple of 100 feet from your car into a warm elevator into the EC? Of course you would.

It’s about perception. Huether promised us the EC wouldn’t cost more then 100 million, adding a parking ramp could add up to $20 million to the project.

My assumption was that the mayor and his staff decided to kick the can down the road. Rumor has it that there was even a joke about it circulating around city hall with his inner staff.

How would we pay for this ramp? Bonding of course was the inevitable punchline.

Prepare yourself, because if you think we can build this facility for $115 million, you took the bait, hook, line and sinker. A parking ramp will be built in a few years, and we will have another ‘unexpected’ expense for the EC.

*I also heard from an insider that the city has been shifting around capital/enterprise funds for sewer, water, infrastructure etc. to help pay for construction of the EC that is not included in the bond loan. Of course, this is something I feared would happen when they were raising water and sewer rates (enterprise funds). The claim is that the money is only being used to link up to the EC . . . yeah . . . right. Would love to hear more detail on this rumor from the most transparent city hall we have ever had 🙂


#1 Poly43 on 10.19.12 at 10:22 pm

Kicking the can down the road is an understatement. Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln Nebraska is a prime example of a city that did it upfront. Pinnacle is due for completion one year from now, so they are about a year ahead of us…all things considered. But, a full TWO years ago this is what they told the public it would cost.

ARENA SIZE ~450,000 sq ft
Arena $180,797,782
Roadways $28,910,857
Utilities $5,236,704
Env. Remediation $7,504,500
Prep/Stormwater Mitigation $10,827,792
Railroads $49,325,000
Amtrak $1,705,500
Parking Facilities $35,792,765

Lincoln admitted they needed to upgrade streets to the tune of 28 million to handle traffic. They admitted they needed to upgrade parking to the tune of over 35 million. AND they admitted a class act EC would cost over $11,000 per seat. Unlike here, where the good mayor told us we could get a classy EC for $8300 a seat. That has since risen to $9583 a seat when the price tag rose from $100 mil to $115 mil. Still….a Yugo class facility.

$115,000,000.00 is the tip of the iceberg.

#2 l3wis on 10.19.12 at 10:28 pm

I think it is funny how the city is going to use ‘Cause and Effect’ to justify the parking ramp when they knew all along they would have to build one.

Man, I really hate fucking liars, especially when they are spending MY money.

#3 Poly43 on 10.19.12 at 10:50 pm

But…but…but…l3wis…the ECONOMIC IMPACT of justin bieber? You are obviously missing the big picture.

#4 l3wis on 10.19.12 at 10:59 pm

Why do I feel another ‘voice over’ is coming on?

#5 Tom H. on 10.20.12 at 4:54 pm

Justin Bieber is playing at Target Center in Mpls. today. I was at the Mall of America today (bad idea), and it was packed with Bieber fans who were going to spend the day shopping, then take the light rail to the concert. This is all possible because public transportation makes two locations (DT Mpls and MoA), which are about 15 miles apart, easily accessible without needing to drive. When the new light rail is done in 1.5 years, DT St. Paul, Midway, and U of M will also be easily accessible. If you’re willing to ride the bus, practically the whole metro is accessible.

The point is this: the Arena site in SF has no adjacent (i.e. walking-distance) shopping, no accessibility via public transportation, and nothing to offer outside of the event experience itself. This greatly diminishes whatever economic stimulus the venue could potentially have. Sorry to beat a long-dead horse, but it still boggles my mind that we chose the parking-deficient, isolated, industrial site for our EC over the accessible, walkable, vibrant DT location.

#6 rufusx on 10.20.12 at 11:38 pm

Went to USD/NDSU FB game tonight. Had to park at the Fairgrounds and take a shuttle bus. Place was a zoo with 3 events going on at once. Lots of extra-tme police. By contrast – for earlier game at Augie I was able to park within two blocks and walk.

#7 l3wis on 10.21.12 at 12:51 am

Tom – I often argued if you wanted the best Econ impact of the EC you should build it by the mall.

#8 Poly43 on 10.21.12 at 8:42 am

The economic impact card is played, and overplayed to the point I find it laughable. The Sioux Falls metro population is over a quarter million people. I suspect if an act like bieber did come here, and fill our 12,000 seat McArena, 9000 of those seats would be occupied by people within our own metro. Much like Rufus yesterday and the two games he attended. Ruf prolly laid down a c-note for entertainment in those two activities. But if not at those two games, Ruf would have laid down that same c-note at any of hundreds of other options in SF. It’s not economic impact, it’s just a shifting of dollars from one stimulus to another.

#9 Poly43 on 10.21.12 at 9:14 am

And bieiber. How he can attract more than just his immediate family is completely lost on me. But in that…I digress. More to the point. 16,000. Yep. 16,000. That seems to be the magic number that major acts look at. Compare this 18,000 seat facility

to this one comparable to the t denny sanford premier bank center facility.

One other thing. The good mayor also hinted we’d be hosting NCAA Regional Basketball tourneys. NEVER GONNA HAPPEN. The good mayor either outright lied, or simply is not kept enlightened on how NCAA BB venues are chosen. Once again, 16,000 seating capacity is the magic number that seperates wannabe hosts from hosts that get those bids.

#10 rufusx on 10.21.12 at 7:59 pm

And just who is building a new 15-18K seat venue in this area – oh – that’s right – Rapid City. And where is that venue being located? Yep – Downtown Rapid. there are SOME things West River folks are smarter about.

#11 Alice15 on 10.22.12 at 9:57 am

I hope all of these “lies” or misguided truths are being kept somewhere so when the next Mayoral election rolls around – they are presented front and center.

#12 Tom H. on 10.22.12 at 1:53 pm

l3wis —
I’m not so sure the Mall area would have as big of an impact as you think. The biggest issue is the ability to get around without a car. If you have to get in your car, the advantage of proximity is immediately lost.

It’s like when I’m at the Barnes & Noble at 41st & Louise. There’s no way I’m walking anywhere around there (except possibly the Chili’s, which shares a parking lot), so I have to drive. If, for instance, I’m hungry for Taco Bell, I’m probably more likely to drive to the one over at 41st & West than the one 1000 feet from B&N, just because it’s such a nightmare to make turns into and out of that Taco Bell.

Visitors from out of town might (and, in my opinion, many probably will) just as easily apply that logic to the whole city and just choose to eat at a McDonalds off the interstate on the way home.

(Side-note: One of the radio hosts on KFAN, which is a Twin Cities sports station, talked about how he went to a concert in Sioux Falls when he was in college. His review of the city: barren, run-down, boring, and depressing. Not surprising since all he probably saw the Arena, a few miles of Russell Ave, and the interstate.)

#13 Detroit Lewis on 10.22.12 at 4:22 pm

We are not run-down or barren, but boring and depressing are pretty close.

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