Entries Tagged 'Hockey' ↓

A response to ‘Seating Cluster’

From Detroit’s E-Box;

I was at the second night of pick your seat night, we are priority 283 I think.  We got a lot better seats that I thought we might get.  Here are my thoughts on all of it:
I can’t comment on this person’s experience, however, I’ll throw in my experience and thoughts.  I’ve been a Stampede season ticket holder since 2005 (with the exception of a few years off when our daughter was born in 2008).
For the last several years we had ‘Club’ seats at the arena.  We were directly behind the players bench, in the ‘club’ section, with in seat wait service, reserved parking (our own lot but not a reserved space), and other perks.  Very nice.  Cost was $23 dollars a game last season (for season ticket holders) ($26 was the walk up price).  The equivalent seat in terms of perks would have been the true club seats at the Event Center.  Since these are a ‘real’ club seat (they are just a PSL actually), you were obligated to pay the yearly fee ($600-$750) for the PSL.  That’s all you get with the yearly fee – right of first refusal to all events.  Once you own that PSL, you have first crack at the seat for Stampede season tickets.  We declined to buy the club seat PSL to keep the same type of perks we have now, because that would have doubled our current pricing ($600+ season ticket + $600+ PSL/Club seat license).  The new event enter is going to be nice, but we’re not paying double.  You also don’t get reserved parking with the clubs in the E.C. for Stampede.  Only the front row seats (black level) at $40 a game get that.  So we passed on the clubs.  You could still purchase a club seat season ticket at the pick your seat nights this week.  However, most people, us included, declined because each year you run the risk of the PSL holder exercising their right to buy the season tickets and you’d get booted out of your seats.  And they are more expensive for really no discernable extra benefit except for the in seat wait service I believe and a nice location (center ice on one side).
In the last several months I had several discussions with the Stampede, SMG, and the city (community development).  I did get different answers for various questions.  It was pretty confusing and I don’t think the communication was ideal.  I don’t know who was to blame because one side did blame the other in more than one case.
The pick your seat night went reasonably well, although it took longer than what it was supposed to, but I’m not surprised really.  I think they largely did their best.  I think in some fairness to the Stampede, they were as in the dark, I think, as we were up until almost the last minute here, and I’m not really sure who to blame on that one.  I think the process they went through at least in my experience was reasonably orderly.  They brought us in smaller groups in order of priority number, we wrote the seats we wanted, and then went back and selected. It was pretty reasonable.
I think maybe the biggest uncovered story in my view would be the pricing.  I believe I read somewhere the Stampede were paying $3,000 a game at the Arena.  They are paying I believe $3,750 at the event center, I believe.
I was kind of surprised by the ticket prices for the new event center.  I presumed some increase, but I was a little surprised by how much they increased from two perspectives.
The first was compared to the old Arena.  Of course this is a vastly better facility.  The experience will be better for sure, that’s obvious.  However, that only goes so far and while I love Stampede hockey, we’re still talking about young players, albeit elite players, between high school and college age playing.  This isn’t the pros.
If you look at the old vs new pricing, trying to make it apples to apples, which isn’t totally straightforward, you’ll see what I’d say pretty appreciable to steep increases, in my view.  The prices I have on my ticket chart reflect our $4 a seat discount for being season ticket holders, so the prices we paid are significantly less than the walk up price.
The other perspective I thought about was compared to other USHL venues.  I looked at almost all of the other USHL venues and their pricing.  The Stampede from what I can tell are significantly higher than all I found and by wide margins in many cases.  True, we’ve probably bar none have the best venue in the USHL now, but a few venues have been replaced in the last few years so not everyone has an old barn.  And even if we have the best venue, that again only goes so far.  As an example, at the Tyson Event Center which I’ve been to several times, I can buy and have bought tickets in the first row on the glass for $15 per ticket.  In addition, its half price for kids.  So for my wife and myself it was $30 + $7.50 for my daugther, so $37.50 for all three of us to sit on the glass.  Stampede walk up price for the event center for first row on the glass is $44.  Even at the old arena the very limited ‘on the glass’ ‘executive’ seats they had were $27, and those were better than a typical on the glass because you were elevated in a high chair and there was a major supply/demand issue, there were VERY FEW Of these because that building was not made for hockey.
The club seats are $30 walk up price apparently, which is all of sections 103-104 (blue line to blue line) across from the player benches.
The rest of the seats around the bowl in the next 6 rows or so are $26 dollars walk up price.  The closest comparison would be the first 8 rows in the arena (granted that started in the balcony since the arena was not a hockey venue) that were $17 per walk up price.  In the event center the next tier is the blue zones which is rows 7 or 8 up to the back of the lower deck which are priced at $20 walk up price.  Compare that to the current rows 9-18 for $15 in the arena.  The cheapest seats on far ends or corners are $18 and $12 respectively walk up price.
What I noticed at the season ticket pick your seat night (I was at the second night) was very few selected in the black ($40 front row) and not much picked in the gold.  The blue and red were filling pretty substantially.  This isn’t too surprising given the pricing.  We are able to afford it, so we did pick seats in the gold section, which is comparable to what we are paying now at least price wise.  I wouldn’t buy the black $40 seats on principle, way too expensive I thought.
We, and many others I talked to, that had ‘club’ seats at the arena were actually kind of conflicted.  We were in the catbird seat to some extent.  We had major leg room, no one in front or behind us (we were on a long elevated platform that was behind the player bench and elevated so we could see), we had reserved parking, in seat wait service, and not much competition in the bathrooms because we were among a small number who were in the lower level.  In the new event center, we don’t have the in seat wait service, no reserved parking, etc.  Very few (or none!) people will feel sorry for us on losing that, but we were used to it for the price we were paying.
I am thinking they might be being a little aggressive with the price increases, but only time will tell.  It will be interesting to see what if any effect it has on walk up purchases.  It may be harder to tell in the first year or two just because of the novelty.  I do think about a family of four looking to go to a game, it could get pretty spendy compared to before.  Of course it will be a better venue, I get that.  But that only goes so far.  Time will tell.  I’m in a position where I can absorb the cost, but not everyone is.
I have said from the beginning, this will be a playground for those who can afford it. Think Pavilion, on a larger scale.


Season Ticket Cluster

From a South Dacola foot soldier;
My relatives are not happy with the EC and the hockey team. They don’t know which to be mad at, though, because the Stampede blamed the city, and vice versa.
So they’ve had prime season tickets from the very first season. With the new building, though, they weren’t guaranteed the equivalent seats because of the “club” that pays $500 for first crack at all tickets.
Yesterday was the day for season ticket holders to pick their seats. They had a reservation system that placed the previous season ticket holders in an order based on priority. My relatives had an early evening time set, and made arrangements for their seats.
Friends of my relatives had a later time, and when they showed up my relative’s seats were still unmarked and still for sale. They purchased two of my relative’s seats, thinking they had decided not to renew. Thankfully, they called my relatives afterwards and asked them. My relatives angrily immediately called the Stampede, who attempted to put them off until the next day (today). They also claimed this whole situation was the “city’s fault”. She wouldn’t take that as a workable solution, but she finally got it sorted out.
It was apparently a mess out there, though. Those people that had early evening times were lucky to get in by 9:30. Generally, what would happen is that when people found out their seats were taken they would wander around until they selected something else. Some of these folks took forever, instead of the fifteen minutes they were told that they’d have to do this.
My relatives made the best comment. They’re also Minnesota Vikings season ticket holders, and they already have their new seats in a building that won’t open for another two years. Why didn’t the EC and Stampede do the same thing?

Mixed feelings about serving beer at the New IcePlex

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: What will become of the old Ice Recreation center once the new Iceplex opens?

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.


IMAG2249 IMAG2250

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?

SF Taxpayers give 2x as much yet Scheels get the naming rights to the new iceplex?

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.


The SF Ice Sports Association is going it alone, and spending a lot less then the city ever would

Funny how when a private organization builds a facility like this it costs millions less then if the city would do it;

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).

SF Ice Sports Association – About as clear as mud

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.

Hockey Parent is attempting to spread lies about Staggers and Stehly

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

Hockey Parent

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.

Funny Comment of the Day

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.