Entries Tagged 'Event Center' ↓

The Events Center will operate in the Black? Oh really?

The mayor has been tooting his horn lately that the EC will operate in the black, he even mentioned it in his State of the City address yesterday.

Do I believe him?

I don’t think it is far-fetched, I think if we have enough private sponsorships subsidizing the operating costs, it is possible. But how much truth is in the word ‘black’. The Pavilion has tooted this horn in the past (without mentioning there entertainment tax subsidy and building maintenance CIP subsidy).

The same goes for the EC. While the EC may have their operating costs covered and probably even some bonuses for the facility manager, what about the bond payment taxpayers will be responsible for each year?

I think if there are any surpluses (profits) at the EC it should go directly towards the bond payment. DIRECTLY.

See, because if the EC does well and operates in the black, the facility manager will wallow in the financial bonuses BUT if it comes up short it will expect the taxpayers to bail it out.

So the mayor can talk ‘black’ all he wants, taxpayers will still have to pay the mortgage each year for the next 30 years (around $180 million) no matter how successful the operations are.

The interesting Events Center Naming Rights timeline

Okay, we have known all along the EC was going to be named after T. Denny, but we were never given the proof that these negotiations were going on, probably even before the vote. So let’s lay it out;

June 12, 2012: Director Smith Talks about hiring Legends to help secure a title sponsor. July 12, 2012: Sanford Health BUYS the domain: DENNYSANFORDPREMIERCENTER.COM


July 24, 2012: Director Smith says he is ‘close’ to having a title sponsor, and will bring it to the council soon.

August 2, 2012: EC title sponsor announced.

I don’t know about you, but that is breakneck speed if you ask me. You hire your naming rights firm and in one month, they are so sure they have a buyer, they purchase a domain. And within a couple of weeks they announce. One might say, Legends is good at what they do, but doesn’t anyone find it a bit suspicious that a deal like this is inked in 30 days of hiring a naming rights contractor? Apparently they are so good, they had a title sponsorship in the works BEFORE they were even hired by the city. So let’s go to the SF City Council informational meeting, June 12, 2012 (FF: 54:00)


Advancing? It’s almost like Smith had to hire a naming rights contractor so it didn’t look like it was already a done deal with Sanford. Gee, I wonder why they fired this company? Now, jump to the July 24, 2012 informational meeting (FF: 21:00) Still no done deals.


Oh, but it gets better, Dave Knudson says this during the August 7, 2012 informational about the naming rights (FF: 14:00);


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;

“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.”

Transparency, something this administration knows nothing about. I have said all along, the EC should have been called ‘The Citizens Arena’ We are ultimately paying for the construction of it, we approved it, and when the operating costs come up short, we will be subsidizing it. But giving it such a populist name might have shook Sioux Falls to the core, maybe enough to loosen some of the bedrock under the EC so the footings could have been large enough for a 15K seat expansion, instead of a 14K (another lie fed to us). BTW, speaking of surprises . . .


There is a rumor going around that the new EC will not sell tickets for upcoming events until after the election (in case the sales are a flop) but I heard there is plans to announce the opening event before the election. It’s probably a good thing that the EC won’t be selling tickets for awhile, they really need to get their header links fixed first anyway.


You would think after owning the DOMAIN for almost 18 months they would have the kinks figured out?

Another Channel 16 campaign propaganda show


Funny how all these shows, meetings, event center tours and educational videos are popping out of city hall’s butt a month before a municipal election. I have never seen this much propaganda garbage in my life from an administration. I mean, how many times do we have to see a time lapse of the EC floor being poured?! The worst part is that you and I are paying for this.

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?

More TAXPAYER funded campaign materials for Huether

IMG_0318 I got this extra special insert in my water bill yesterday. I guess they couldn’t give these tours AFTER the municipal election. My question is, are these inserts and tours being paid for out of the city’s general fund or from the EC bonds? Either way, doesn’t matter, still our money. Ironically, this will be the only time you will be able to walk through the EC’s doors without buying a ticket. Get the (partially) FREE gettin’ while it is good.

Is the city really saving money on the EC utility bill?

So KELO kicked this off and said the city is actually saving money by using Heartland Consumer Power District, maybe they are?

$500,000 dollars seems like a lot of money and it is, but the City says it’s actually saving money.

The City worked out a five-year deal with Heartland Consumer Power District to keep the lights on at a lower cost. As part of its Energy One Incentive Plan, the City won’t have to pay the electrical demand charge which covers the cost of delivering power to the facility. That can sometimes be just as expensive as the gas and electric bills.

Did you know that the city runs it’s own municipal power? Did you also know that we pay these people regardless of who the clients are? So wouldn’t it make sense to use OUR OWN municipal power? Wouldn’t that save us $$$? Or is this political? Why not use the largest power supplier in the city, Xcel Energy?

Well according to this campaign finance report (DOC: CFR_100511 ) we may have the answer to that question.


So why did Heartland give money to the BIN campaign, not only BEFORE they started construction OR awarding the bids, but BEFORE we even voted on the facility. Funny how these things work? Huh?

Part III of Jamison’s ‘People (Monkeys) First Initiative’


Sioux Falls – Jamison, on Monday will announce part III of his People (Monkey’s) First Initiative, which will release the (snow) monkeys at the Great Plains Zoo. Jamison’s plan will be allowing the monkeys to either find a place down by the Big Sioux River on their own, or they can couch surf as long as they like.

Jamison feels it is time to ‘Release the Monkeys’ and give them the freedoms their descendants have (no offense Manny Steele).

Of course, the Huether campaign was quick to respond. Huether said, “I have been planning the release of the snow monkeys for a couple of months, ever since I took them on an ice fishing trip out at my lake home on Diamond Lake. Heck, I would go even a step further, and let them stay at my lake home, of course, if they don’t throw any crap, because, you know, I don’t like CRAP.”

Jamison also said that Huether missed the 2nd and 3rd tier of this initiative, allowing squirrels to maintain several nests on different properties within the city limits.

Huether responded by saying, “I have been allowing the cottontails AND squirrels to do that for several years through an executive order, and you can bet a snowgate tour of the event center for affordable airfares on it that the squirrels and rabbits are happy about it, but the chickens, not so much.”

Stay tuned, Jamison plans to announce his ‘No crying at press conferences’ initiative next week. Don’t bring tissues to the press conference, just your big boy/girl pants.

Sioux Falls, We are getting things done (Then naming them after Sanford)


I wonder if they will be serving FREE Papa John’s pizza at the EC tours? Rex and Tracy need to share.

Here is the latest ‘veiled’ tax payer funded campaign promotion by Mayor Huether;

The city says they are excited to let the public get a sneak peek at how it looks.

There is no need to sign up because you get to look around all by yourself.

Once you are inside, you can really get the feel for how big it is.

It’s over 300,000 square feet, 105 feet tall and four levels.

You can come and see for yourself starting this Saturday evening from 6 to 8 and Sunday from 1 to 4.

That goes every weekend through the end of March.

They are just starting to put the seats in which will take until the end of June.

“Now, we’re just to a point where we can actually corridor off a safe area for people to come in. This is really the city of Sioux Falls’ building. It’s the people’s building and we want them to have a chance to come in. It’s too cold to do anything else, so we would rather people come on out to the convention center, walk in, take a look and see what the results are.” said Mark Cotter, Director of Public Works.

When you come in to see it, there won’t be any construction going on.

So you won’t have to wear any safety gear.

Through the end of March . . . how convenient, only days away from the municipal election. While many local ‘dignitaries’ got to take early tours of the Pavilion when it was being constructed, the public certainly wasn’t let in to see, of course, there probably wasn’t a city election going on either. Slick move Mike.

Cotter’s comment was pretty ironic. I have often said that since taxpayer’s are borrowing for the lion’s share of this project (and probably subsidizing it) that the EC should have been called ‘Sioux Falls CITIZEN’s Arena’

Stormland-TV the official Events Center media

Really, EIGHT stories on their main page about the Events Center?


What is going to happen to the Arena now?


It seems almost like the city doesn’t really have a plan for the Arena? Does it?

Sioux Falls Arena General Manager Terry Torkildson said “you’ll see a drop off. It’s not going to be maintained at the level it has over the past few years, with the number of events we’ve done because we’ll move the majority over to the new events center but it will still be a very active building and a very important part of the complex.”

With sports teams like the Stampede moving on to the newer building next door, Torkildson hopes to fill these seats for other events.

“There’s always smaller, unique things that you can do in here, anything from a place for teenagers to go on the weekend, we can bring in local bands, and fill the place up that way, there’s just lots of options out there and we’re exploring all of them,” Torkildson said.

City leaders believe keeping the arena up and running allows for more events.

Sioux Falls Project Manager Kendra Siemonsma said “it offers this tremendous opportunity to bring in conventions, acts and events that will utilize all three spaces, but it also gives us the power to have more available dates.  In the entertainment industry, if you talk to SMG (management), it’s important to have available dates.”

And one of Torkildson’s fondest memories at the arena is bringing in the Summit League Tournament.

“When we pulled that one off, and showed what we can do, I think last year there were over 40,000 people through the building during that tournament, is really one of the crowning achievements,” Torkildson said.

“There’s lots of memories here but we’re going to create bigger and better ones in the new building,” Torkildson added.

Torkildson tells us the Shrine Circus will stay at the Arena. They’ll welcome the Home Show  in 2015.  And he’s also in talks with bringing in the derby team the Roller Dolls, as well as a few acts to be announced.

This concerns me for a number of reasons;

1) I have often felt the better option would have been to refurbish the Arena instead of building a new EC and expanding the meeting rooms at the Convention Center.

2) Was there any true discussion about the future of the Arena before we went full steam ahead of selling the public the new EC?

3) There are renovation plans for the Arena after the EC is completed (I believe $9 million is budgeted) but what are those plans? And will the public be given specifics?

4) We could hardly fill the Arena to capacity before we started building the new EC, what will they do with the building now?

5) I find it a little hard to swallow that the space will be used for a lot of conventions when you have a shiny new building a few hundred yards away.

6) Why didn’t anyone propose making the Arena into the new iceplex instead of building a whole new facility, or a public rec center?

7) Is the new EC being built not because the Arena wasn’t sufficient but because some people wanted to make a little quick money (bond sales/contractors).

8) What kind of operating costs will the taxpayers have to endure to keep the doors of the Arena open, especially while we are trying to make the new EC profitable and paying down those bonds?

9) Doesn’t the city/SMG have an obligation to have a viable plan for the Arena after the EC opens? Don’t they at least owe us that much?

We got sold a brand new entertainment center without having some key puzzle pieces in place. Parking. Adequate lodging and dining in the area. And no real future plan for the Arena except a teen hangout, a circus and ‘some’ conventions. Hey, but we closed the EC deal, so that’s all that matters. Right?