UPDATE: Was the Denty’s GM, Torkildson let go?

UPDATE: It seems Jorgi at Stormy is a bit baffled by Terry’s disappearance;

The man in charge of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center is no longer there.  It’s a story that has a lot of people scratching their heads. It has a lot of people asking what happened to Terry Torkildson.

As I reported on Friday, it sounds like a lot of internal corporate crap. I do know that Torkildson is in shock. I also heard that it had to do with the lack of brown nosing skills Terry had compared to Chris Semrau. Let’s just say one of them was a lot better at smoozing then the other one. I guess that is why one of them was promoted and the other one was let go. Hopefully we will hear more in the coming week.

I’m hearing from several sources that the GM of the Denty was terminated. Not sure if that happened today? I also no few details as to why or if it really happened.

As you know, Torkildson has been with SMG for many years, and to be very clear, this would have been a decision by their corporate offices and NOT City Hall (I would assume).

It comes as a surprise really, because I felt Terry was doing a good job. He fought like a good soldier to get the Denty, and for attendance records it was doing well (even though SMG hasn’t paid a penny of the mortgage). He also was always up front with me and even pulled me aside a few times at council meetings to set me straight on details I blogged about, which I appreciate.

As you know, Terry was the one that told then councilor Rex Rolfing in a recorded council coffee meeting that the dented up siding on the Denty made it “Look interesting.” That still cracks me up.

With most things corporate America, I’m sure it has to do with internal garbage, and one has to wonder about this taking place so shortly after Chris Semrau left Sioux Falls to take on another position elsewhere with SMG? I have been told some reasons why it may have happened, but at this point I’m not going to speculate.


#1 anominous on 11.13.18 at 9:28 am

need 2 get on the juice if u want 2 climb high in sf

#2 anonymous on 11.13.18 at 10:03 am

Torkildson’s termination was most likely a corporate decision, but for TenHaken to say he did not know that the general manager of a city-owned events center/convention center/arena was being let go is not believable.

When is this guy going to stop hiding behind TJ Nelson and Erica Beck?!

#3 Taco Bar on 11.13.18 at 10:43 am

Who ran or runs the Arena, a corporation or the City?

#4 l3wis on 11.13.18 at 10:54 am

Vertical Taco, let’s clarify some things before people start pointing fingers. SMG is contracted by the city to run the Denty, they are a private management company. They have control of their employees. It was their decisions to terminate Terry.

On Friday, the city council and mayor’s office was informed of his termination.

As I said, city hall has very little to do with the corporate decisions of SMG.

Now could there have been some conversations with TenHaken in advance? Maybe? But that kind of influence would be something Bucktooth and Bowlcut would do, NOT TenHaken. But you never know.

#5 Scott D Hudson on 11.13.18 at 11:00 am

My god – “it’s a story that has a lot of people scratching their heads”. Stop it. The only people that truly care are those in local government and the media. The typical Eagles/Fleetwood Mac/Kiss/Smashing Pumpkins/Florida Georgia Line concert goer couldn’t name a single Denty executive.

#6 Taco Bar on 11.13.18 at 11:36 am


I was merely opining for the good old days when government ran what it owned.

I don’t know if you have heard, but the boys from Blackwater want to run our war in Afghanistan, too.

You know, if we sublet enough out, then democracy and its transparent potential qualities will have no home.

Fore, taupe houses and a corporate bent are the perfect marriage for a few, but not for the many who will be subjected to it..

“Vertical Taco,” huh?…. I think I will stick to “Taco Bar,” however, because everyone loves a taco bar and you can make what you want of it, or from it…

#7 D@ily Spin on 11.13.18 at 12:35 pm

If SMG has the contract it’s up to them regarding management. Perhaps this was not a good move. However, it’s good that the city isn’t running it. Look at how they’ve managed the Washington Pavilion. It’s never made money.

#8 scott on 11.13.18 at 12:41 pm

maybe sanford will hire him to run the thunder dome.

#9 Michael L. Wyland on 11.13.18 at 1:50 pm

The City does *not* manage the Pavilion. The nonprofit Washington Pavilion Management, Inc. manages the Pavilion under contract with the city. It’s similar to what the city does with the Premier Center, the GP Zoo, and with the Levitt Shell. The city owns the asset and contracts for operations. The city is (with some exceptions) responsible for capital expenditures on the facility and the nonprofit is (with some exceptions) responsible for repairs and maintenance. Each contract is unique and each runs to dozens of pages, I’m told.

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