From Detroit’s E-Box;
Editorial Cartoonist from South Dakota
From Detroit’s E-Box;
I can see pros and cons to this;
• It will generate revenue for the facility.
• Parents will be able to enjoy an adult beverage while watching games.
Is a facility that is encouraging a ‘family friendly’ environment shooting themselves in the foot by serving beer?
Are taxpayers uncomfortable with this plan after subsidizing the facility ($1.5 million) and further subsidizing it through SSC’s TIF?
UPDATE: I have been thinking about this for a few days. I have been trying to access the informational meeting on the city website, but no luck. The video died about a minute into the meeting when it was LIVE and they have not yet posted it to the website. Once again, SIRE isn’t working and no one at Carnegie or City Hall is doing anything about it. Go figure. Anyway, I did have a South DaCola foot soldier attend the meeting. Parks & Rec Mob Boss Don Kearney did a presentation on saving the Rec Center (I partially agree with him, but we will get to that in a moment). Of course the stuck-up IcePlex crew showed up and cried about competing with the new facility. This could be true, and they do have a point, the city kicked in $1.5 million to the new facility, and why would we want to continue to subsidize the old Rec Center?
I think there is a solution that can make everyone happy. Let’s say we close the Rec center. We have only a few options. Tear the whole place down and just sell the land. We could use it as a Parks garage. Or we could just sell the place ‘As Is’ with the ice and throw in the Zamboni. I like this idea the best, first off, it wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything to sell it ‘as is’, secondly we wouldn’t have to continue to subsidize it, either as ice OR as a garage. I would also put a condition on the sale that the place that buys it (Private health club or non-profit) can either remove the ice, tear the whole place down, or what I think would be the best use make it into a recreational ice facility, much like Caurosel Skate. Use the facility for strictly ice skating and curling, etc, but not ice hockey unless it is adult leagues.
One of the reasons the Ice Association wanted a new bigger facility is because they claim there isn’t enough inside ice, keeping the old Rec Center as a private ice facility won’t hurt their business. That’s like saying Wild Water West hurts the outdoor pool business in SF Parks. There is room for two ‘different’ kinds of ice facilities in Sioux Falls, and the taxpayers can be off the hook for once.
Images below are from Don’s presentation to the city council. Click to enlarge.
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?
Once again, Sioux Falls taxpayers are paying the piper and gettin’ no credit;
A highly anticipated Sioux Falls community ice facility will be named the Scheels IcePlex, after a substantial donation from the sports store on Thursday.
Scheels donated $750,000 toward the new multi-rink ice facility set to be built at the Sanford Sports Complex.
The announcement comes on the heels of an action by the Sioux Falls City Council to give $1.5 million of their budget to the facility next year.
While I think it is fantastic that the ISA has been raising private funds, I think, since taxpayers are giving twice as much as Scheels, our name should be on the building. There are plenty of advertising opportunities inside the facility for retailers like Scheels.
They’ve raised $1.5 million of the $2.5 million needed for the future three-sheet facility.
See more about the project here. (Finished project is estimated to cost $11.1 million).
I watched this video twice. And several things are very clear;
• Sanford has donated land for a new ice facility
• They formed a non-profit to collect private corporate donations
• They clearly explain why (they think) there is a need for a facility.
Where it gets a little fuzzy is at the end when they bring up ‘the city of Sioux Falls’ this could be a mirade of things. A TIF district? That’s cool. Or a substantial donation from the city plus a subsidy? I’ll say it again, if you want this facility to be successful and self-sufficient, which seems possible according to your ‘need’ argument, you need to keep the city’s money out of the deal. Taxpayers are tired of white elephants in this city.
I would love to see the ISA explain further what they mean by the ‘city of Sioux Falls’ involvement in the project.
This email was sent out to hockey parents and forwarded to me;
Fellow Hockey Parents
I’m sending this email as a hockey parent. I know some of you do not live in Sioux Falls , however we need your support also. I would encourage Sioux Falls voters to support pro hockey, figure skating, and swimming candidates.
The two candidates I know that are not very supportive of hockey and figure skating are:
Kermit Staggers. He does not support City funding for a new ice facility. He believes the new facility should be privately funded. I don’t understand why he singles out an ice facility and supports outdoor fields that are owned and maintained by the City.
Theresa Stehly campaigned against the proposed rec center with an indoor pool and ice rink. She supported the outdoor only pool at Drakes Spring. The City spent money on facility that is only used 3 months out of the year when a rec center could have been used 12 months.
Thanks for time
First off, the Hockey Association is pursuing a private facility. They have not ruled out getting some kind of help from the city, but I think it is pretty clear they want to run the facility themselves. Stehly was only behind the Drake Springs Pool petition drive, she had NOTHING to do with the other projects. Besides, Kermit and Theresa did not get those projects nixed, the voters nixed them. Even the Snowfox swim team opposed the indoor pool in the end because it would not have competitive lanes. As for supporting parks, that is a different ball of wax, the parks can be used for FREE by anybody living in the city. And indoor pool would charge a fee to swim there, just like all the private indoor pools in town currently do.
Don’t believe the rhetoric. City Hall’s responsibility is providing customer service to their citizens. It is not the city’s job to entertain us or provide us ‘indoor ice’. Enough already.
This was in response to this DaCola post about the SF Hockey Association building there own facility;
This is stupid… all we need is a decent icerink and so far we only have 1/2 of one. The expo ice was taken down because we didn’t have enough money to fix the huge hole in the ice. And the SFIRC is only .5 of an ice rink because we only get 45 min of icetime…we have bantam boys practicing at 11 at night! It’s rediculous!! Not only do we just want to play hockey, be we also want to host tournaments. The girls team had to take their Varsity tournament to Sioux Center Iowa because we didn’t have any ice! If you guys are so narrow-minded to think that we can take what we have…then you are people who hate little kids.
First off, call a whaaabulance. Secondly, what is wrong with a private facility? I am all for a new ice rink, but why are we constantly going to taxpayers for this stuff? Seriously?! I heard Michelle Erpenbach brag about Yankton Trail Park for the Soccer Association in her AL interview. But let’s tell the truth about that park. You are only allowed to use the park for sanctioned games, you must also pay an association fee that goes to the city. The only time this ‘publicly owned’ park can be used by the ‘public’ for free is Jazzfest, a music festival. If an ice rink is privately funded, the Hockey Association can do what they want with it, without the fascist grip of the city on them.
Now I want to address the crybaby above. Growing up, I never got to go anywhere unless it was part of HS sanctioned sport and I rode on the school district’s bus. My big ‘event’ of the year was spending a week in Huron at the state fair where I participated in 4-H and Open class competitions. If you have a problem with driving your kids to Sioux Center for a tournament, maybe you should pull your kids out of hockey. I get so sick and tired of whiney ass parents that think there kids’ club sports should be subsidized by me. Here’s the deal. I don’t have children, but I have no problem with funding the school district through my property taxes, it is an investment in the future. But if your kids do not participate in public school activities, tough shit, pay for it yourself.