The Events Center ‘payback’ has begun

McNally’s owner(?) (click on the ‘officers’ tab at the bottom of the page) Nicki (Correa) Ellerbroek is the former star of the Build It Now campaign commercials;

The City of Sioux Falls and SMG have reached an agreement with McNally’s Irish Pub to be a marketing partner sponsor for the new Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. McNally’s Irish Pub will sponsor the premium level lounge and will be the exclusive marketing partner and supplier in the Irish pub category.

“The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center is a perfect fit for McNally’s Irish Pub’s brand and services,” says Nicki Ellerbroek, General Manager and Owner of McNally’s Irish Pub. “Event attendees will sense real Irish hospitality and ‘the craic’—the welcoming, camaraderie, joking, storytelling, and comfort you feel when you have a true Irish pub experience.”

Patrons will be able to enjoy McNally’s Irish Pub’s signature dishes, drinks, and atmosphere at the “McNally’s Premium Irish Lounge” exclusively accessible by all suite, loge box, and other attendees on the premium level. Naming rights of the lounge are pending City Council approval. Additionally, McNally’s Irish Pub will have a marketing presence within the venue via digital signage. The sponsorship agreement is for five years and has a total package value of more than $138,000.

“SMG and Ovations are excited that such a well-known, local business will offer their services on the premium level,” stated Terry Torkildson, General Manager of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls Arena, Sioux Falls Convention Center, and Orpheum Theater. “To have McNally’s sponsoring a landmark in our building and offering their products will be a big draw.”

Makes you wonder how many of these sponsorships were in the works before the vote (First Premier)? Ironic how a lot of these sponsorship contracts end a year after Huether leaves office. Well, at least we will be in the black for the first 5 years.

I also wonder if the Augustana contract with the Arena will be made public?

26 comments ↓

#1 pathloss on 02.25.14 at 4:20 pm

Construction contracts awarded without competitive bid process before there was a vote or location. I suspect everything about the event center is corrupt. Hard to prove but common knowledge when everyone’s paying $20 for a hot dog. Beer, you’ll have to sneak it in cause you can’t afford it here.

#2 Taxpayer-Voter on 02.25.14 at 6:04 pm

Patrons will be able to enjoy McNally’s Irish Pub’s signature dishes, drinks, and atmosphere at the “McNally’s Premium Irish Lounge” exclusively accessible by all suite, loge box, and other attendees on the premium level.

So, are you saying this establishment, McNally’s, that will be located WITHIN a PUBLIC TAXPAYER-FUNDED facility (the Events Center) will NOT be open to the GENERAL PUBLIC?

#3 scott on 02.25.14 at 6:30 pm

Since it’s on the premium level, does that mean the commoners won’t be able to get in?

#4 Taxpayer-Voter on 02.25.14 at 7:51 pm

Bill Gross, Athletic Director for Augustana, was heard making many demands (on local media and I’m sure also privately) in order to move Augie basketball to the Arena.

Whatever DEAL Augustana made with the City/SMG and the taxpayers is public information. Hopefully, southdacola and the local media will let everyone in on just what concessions MMM agreed to with his buddy Rob Oliver, President of Augustana.

#5 LJL on 02.25.14 at 8:01 pm

Did you notice it states the package deal is worth more than $138,000 but it doesn’t state what McNallys actually paid. Also was this ‘service” up for competitive bid?

#6 hmr59 on 02.25.14 at 9:14 pm

Well, well, well…. Color me unsurprised. Perhaps one of the attractions of any event will be when the Great and Good open the windows of the McNally’s Pub and toss coins to the unwashed masses waiting eagerly below…

#7 Poly43 on 02.26.14 at 7:56 am

Well, well, well…. Color me unsurprised. Perhaps one of the attractions of any event will be when the Great and Good open the windows of the McNally’s Pub and toss coins to the unwashed masses waiting eagerly below…

No one should be surprised by this. Ole slew foot himself will tell you an event center like this is all about corporate boxes and smooze and booze deals. They could not possibly care less about what is entertaining the masses below them.

#8 OldSlewFoot on 02.26.14 at 8:08 am

It is very common in ALL taxpayer built/owned sports facilities for the suite/loge/club level to have a higher grade of services and facilities. That is one of the reason people buy these memberships.

I have been to an Atlanta Falcons game and a Colorado Avalanche game and had seat on the club level. More fun for not much more money per game. Yankee Stadium has the Jim Beam Suite. All these come with better food, waiter service, your own bathrooms and many places it is the only level hard liquor is served on.

So this is not uncommon, just getting SF into the 21st century.

#9 Poly43 on 02.26.14 at 8:10 am

Whatever DEAL Augustana made with the City/SMG and the taxpayers is public information. Hopefully, southdacola and the local media will let everyone in on just what concessions MMM agreed to with his buddy Rob Oliver, President of Augustana.

Gross and Oliver will say a lot of things about WHY this is a win win for augie. But what they won’t tell you is the real reason. NCAA prohibits the sale of beer at on campus basketball centers. With the move off campus to the arena??? Beer sales. Beer sales at 35 cents an ounce no less. Now….easy money like that can do a lot for an athletic program, and gross and Oliver will look the other way at games when they see their student body huetherizing with a cold one.

#10 Sy on 02.26.14 at 8:40 am

I don’t know about the sponsorships, but I can tell you the finish packages including our sections were competitively bid.

#11 Karma on 02.26.14 at 9:07 am

I guess I am wondering why Augie would want to play at a 50+ year old building? It had relevance 20+ years ago when they played State and the U and those fans followed, but seriously, besides USF, what other team would even come close to filling half of this building?

I also heard the comment that parking will be better than at the Elmen Center. Really? They better hope there is not one other thing going on as they obviously do not know that parking is horrendous out there.

#12 Karma on 02.26.14 at 10:01 am

I was wondering about beer sales. Back in the day – did they sell beer? For some reason I was thinking not as I don’t think that was the image Augie wanted to project, but with falling enrollment overall at our local colleges – this may be the next thing to make up some of that revenue.

#13 Poly43 on 02.26.14 at 10:25 am

I guess I am wondering why Augie would want to play at a 50+ year old building?

Follow the the money…or in this case the beer truck.

#14 Poly43 on 02.26.14 at 11:57 am

For some reason I was thinking not as I don’t think that was the image Augie wanted to project

That was then, this is now. Beers sales are beginning to drive schools with on campus centers to move on out to the McArena’s so they can get a piece of the beer sales action. Google “college basketball beer sales”. There you can read for hours about the latest in college sports and getting in on the alcohol angle. The Bob Devaney legacy has inspired the cornhuskers to stay alcohol free at the Pinnacle in Lincoln…for now. That will likely change in the future as alcohol continues to fuel events.

Matt Zimmerman had an interesting take several weeks ago. From his blog on the matter…

….consider what has changed at Augie since they last played at the Arena. They’ve built a spectacular $13 million on-campus football stadium. They’ve made tremendous updates to their baseball and tennis facilities and added a home soccer field. One of the major benefits of this was supposed to be that Augie was creating an ‘athletic village’ of sorts on their campus. Football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, wrestling, volleyball and tennis are now all on campus. There are plans to find a way to bring a track facility to campus, too, they just haven’t figured out exactly what they want to do yet.

And now basketball is apparently being taken out of that equation…..

So….why would Augie, shortly after dumping $300,000 into the elmen center, opt out for the arena? With a tripartite pact between huether, Oliver, and gross….alcohol sales and splitting the insanely high profit margin of it, seems to me to be the logical reason.

#15 rufusx on 02.26.14 at 12:16 pm

Both sides of the Augie deal are obligated to reveal their financials – Augie being a non-profit corp. In the past when Augie played at the ARENA there were no beer sales.

In fact, as I recall, there were no beer sales at the Arena at all until the semi-pro teams became tenants, and then ONLY at their events. I remember getting free tickets to a Storm game many years ago when they first started. It seemed so strange to me, having attended many, many events at the arena throughout its life to have the place smelling like a 3.2 bar.

Then again, it surprised the heck out of me when I visited U of Wisconsin campus at Madison when looking at colleges after HS, that they sold beer in the cafeteria and student union. Come on USD – open up the pub!! I was thinking. Still hasn’t happened – 45 years later.

As it appears to me, the “upper levels” of the arena will be curtained off for Augie events. Will they be selling beer? Was that published somewhere? Better dig into the details before you start assuming.

#16 Poly43 on 02.26.14 at 12:20 pm

One correction on my last post. What I quoted was from Matt Zimmers blog, not Matt Zimmermans. I hate this auto correct function of iPads.

#17 Lamb Chislic on 02.26.14 at 2:15 pm

Another item mentioned in Zimmer’s blog a couple weeks back was the city paying to redecorate the Arena and repaint the basketball floor with Augie colors and logos – after taxpayers foot the bill for a newly-painted Arena floor just two years ago.

Talk about polishing a turd!

#18 Poly43 on 02.26.14 at 2:56 pm

So this is not uncommon, just getting SF into the 21st century.

I suppose you are right slew. It is not uncommon anymore for the elitist crowd to expect private suites at centers constructed on the backs of the working poor.

#19 LJL on 02.26.14 at 7:42 pm

I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a suite or lounge with higher priced tickets with more amenities. I want to know what McNallys paid for the contract and how did the deal compare to other bids.

If we are suspecting unfair play the details should be shared.

As far as Augie, their a private school that can make all the bad decisions they want. I expect the EC should be taking a healthy cut from the profit of the Augie events. Again, where are the details?

#20 OldSlewFoot on 02.26.14 at 7:52 pm

I did not realize the working poor were spending any more money than they normally would for the construction of the events center. Coming from sales tax. I assume they will not spend more money just to build the events center.

It appears with all the sponsorship deals, the city will not spend much, if any, of the budget for facility maintenance.

This is no different that any other similar facility built on the taxpayers back. Who else is going to build them? That is what us taxpayers do. And it is not just the SF taxpayers. It is the regional metro area that loves to shop at Target, Walmart, Costco, Best Buy, Scheels, Empire Mall, et al that will build and pay for OUR events center.

#21 Taxpayer-Voter on 02.27.14 at 6:14 am

OldSlewFoot on 02.26.14 at 7:52 pm

I did not realize the working poor were spending any more money than they normally would for the construction of the events center. Coming from sales tax. I assume they will not spend more money just to build the events center.

And, OldSlewFoot, you will not see the working poor hanging out at this 183 million dollar PLAYGROUND either because they do NOT have the discretionary income available to do so!

OldSlewFoot also says, “It appears with all the sponsorship deals, the city will not spend much, if any, of the budget for facility maintenance.”

As far as taxpayers potentially having to subsidize the operating costs of the EC, they are still far from making this a break-even situation!!

#22 Sy on 02.27.14 at 12:12 pm

I’ll submit that when they land One Direction or the Eagles at least half of the audience would be considered “working poor”.

My basis? the 150 +/- concerts I’ve attended.

L3wis, how many shows have you been to?

#23 l3wis on 02.27.14 at 12:34 pm

Sy – Probably at that 150 + range, but as for ‘Arena sized’ or ‘Festival’ shows I’m at around 30 shows. Most of the bands I have seen in venues of 1000 capacity or smaller. I prefer seeing bands in smaller venues. Though I did enjoy seeing THE POLICE at the Qwest

#24 rufusx on 02.27.14 at 3:29 pm

yOIKES! Rookies.

I’d probably been on the “getting paid to be there” side of 5X more performances than you’ve paid to attend before you guys were born :).

As to “arena” shows, I think we’re at about the same level. I’ll agree with Sy – MOST people that attend both types are prolly “working poor”. I know most of the performers are.

#25 Scott on 02.27.14 at 6:11 pm

One Direction? lolz

In three years when they play county fairs.

#26 Craig on 02.28.14 at 12:05 pm

DL: I prefer seeing bands in smaller venues.

Exactly this. I have no desire to sit 100yds away where the best view of the talent is via the projection screen on either side of the concert.

Most of the best shows I’ve ever been to have been small venues where you could get within 20 or 30 feet of the performers (at least at some point). I’ve seen shows at larger Arenas, but it just isn’t my thing.

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