A privately funded Event Center? Sounds good to me.


There has been chatter about this for awhile, but a (reliable) little birdy told me today it is a STRONG possibility and is being studied.  Not sure if certain people are putting these whispers out there to scare the city into rushing things, or if they are serious but it would mean there would have to be a shitload of private investors involved in the venture. The plans also include it being built on the land adjoining the Cherapa Place.

I support the idea 110%. I have felt all along – if this is such a ‘money making’ venture for the city why couldn’t it be for private investors? I say it is about time the HAVE’s to put their money where their mouth is and prove it to us. And if you make buckets of money from the investment – good for you!

I also betcha it will be built for a Hell-uva-lot less and be more functional. The greatest benefit is not only would taxpayer’s NOT have to foot the bill and operating expenses, it will have an economic impact on our community that benefits all of us in jobs and tax revenue.

I say go for it!

Anybody else heard anything?


#1 Costner on 04.21.09 at 2:27 pm

It will never happen. I beleive the study the city put out shows the revenue expectations, and although they claim it will be self sufficient, it would not be enough to cover interest payments on the construction costs.

I’ll support the idea of course, but I don’t feel it is realistic and I would suggest it is merely being discussed for show in order to get the city (and the residents of Sioux Falls) up in a tizzy so they move the project forward for fear of some big bad private organization stealing all our revenue.

Of course if people were smart they would realize a private company would pay the same sales taxes to the city as well as property taxes to the county and schools. Seems like a win-win to me.

Oh yea….and about your “I support the idea 110%.” comment. No you don’t. You cannot support anything more than 100% nor can you “give” more than 100%. Sorry…pet peeve of mine.

#2 Angry Guy on 04.21.09 at 2:46 pm

STFU with your pet peeves, Costner.
I’m just sure that nobody gives -.05% of a shit about what peeves you.

#3 Ghost of Dude on 04.21.09 at 3:07 pm

I just gave .0001% of a shit, but it was in gas form…

The reason it makes more sense for the city to build it is because the pay back will come not only from revenue generated on-site, but also from all the commerce generated around the site. A private company doesn’t get a cut of that. But if they think they can make it work, go for it by all means.

#4 Warren Phear on 04.21.09 at 3:59 pm

The reason it makes more sense for the city to build it is because the pay back will come not only from revenue generated on-site, but also from all the commerce generated around the site.


You mean kinda like the payback we’ve gotten from the Washington Pavillion?

#5 Costner on 04.21.09 at 6:45 pm

STFU with your pet peeves, Costner.

It was one pet peeve…thus singular. Not plural. For instance I wouldn’t call you an assholes when in reality you are just an asshole. You may have an asshole while being an asshole thus when referring to you in the third person I suppose I could say “hey look over there at those assholes”, but for all intents and purposes you are still just one gigantic asshole.

Hope that helps. kthx.

#6 Angry Guy on 04.21.09 at 6:49 pm


#7 l3wis on 04.22.09 at 6:09 am

Like I said, I have a feeling whispers are being put out there to up speed the process and put pressure on the task force. I think their should be a 50/50 partnership.

#8 Ghost of Dude on 04.22.09 at 6:42 am

You mean kinda like the payback we’ve gotten from the Washington Pavillion?

Theoretically, the Pavillion should be generating a decent amount of commerce (not like a 10K seat arena would, but some). Unfortuantely, it’s poorly managed and promoted – almost like they want to lose money.

#9 l3wis on 04.22.09 at 6:47 am

We have spent almost $60 million + interest on the Pavilion since it opened. I highly doubt taxpayers have gotten even half of that back.

#10 Warren Phear on 04.22.09 at 7:03 am

Theoretically, the Pavillion should be generating a decent amount of commerce (not like a 10K seat arena would, but some). Unfortuantely, it’s poorly managed and promoted – almost like they want to lose money.


THEORETICALLY is the key word here isn’t it. Sioux City has a 10,000 seat McArena, yet I challenge you to show me how much MORE revenue that McArena has generated than our own Arena in the last six years Tyson has had it’s doors open.

In the last SIX years can you point to more than 3 or 4 “events” our own Arena could not have handled?

#11 l3wis on 04.22.09 at 7:20 am

I have often felt that we should drop about $20 million to refurbish the Arena, parking, etc and forget about building a new EC. The building is still structurally sound, but we could do a lot to upgrade seating and acoustics and make it look like a brand new facility. I have often wondered why this city is so obsessed with the word ‘new’.

It was like at the city council meeting the other day. They had to approve two giveaways. One was laptops to Brandon and the other was the historical look-alike streetlamps they tore out downtown before tearing up Phillips avenue.

They said they would have had to pay a wholesaler to recycle the laptops? What!? I betcha you could have called any PC store in town and they would have given you ‘something’ for them.

And the street lamps, that was total BS. A city official said they couldn’t reuse them because of wiring and they needed paint, but Canistota, who we were giving them to, could use them just fine.

I’m sure you could have re-powdercoated them and rewired them for less then a couple of hundred bucks each, but instead, we give them away and have to go buy ‘new’ ones.

Like I said, this obsession with ‘new’ is stupid.

#12 Ghost of Dude on 04.22.09 at 7:58 am

In the last SIX years can you point to more than 3 or 4 “events” our own Arena could not have handled?

Can you point to more than 3 or 4 events in the last 50 years that would have come here without our current arena being built? Yet even then there were loud naysayers complaining about the cost.
A new EC would be built with the next 50 years in mind. If this city continues to grow at even a moderate pace, we’ll be more than double our current size by then.
I personally can’t guarantee that Joe Sixpack won’t foot the bill for this if he doesn’t use it. My application to be on the task force was not accepted. I will say that I won’t support any increase in the general retail sales or property tax to pay for it.
The rumored private money or even a 50/50 partnership would be the best way to go, followed by issuing bonds that would be paid off by an advertising tax or an increase in the B&B tax.

#13 l3wis on 04.22.09 at 8:32 am

The funny part about it is if the task force came out publicly and said they have a funding proposal that fits the model you are suggesting they would get at least 60-75% of the citizens behind it, but instead you have Jamison and Knudson rambling at every public meeting about increasing our retail taxes to build it. They are just going to continue to dig themselves a hole. I also find it ironic that Jamison thinks it is okay to spend $150 million on an event center that only benefits people who attend events but cries, bitches and complains about spending a couple of million on public safety to get the homeless off the streets. (watch Monday’s informational meeting) His priorities are fucked. he had everyone and their dog trying to convince him of the social, economic and public safety benefits of the shelter, but he wasn’t buying it, because it wasn’t helping the ‘kids’ even though it has worked in EVERY SINGLE city that has used the model we are proposing. He really looked not only callous but extremely ignorant when it comes to crime and alcholic homeless adult males. Even Litz chastised him about alcholism being a recognized disease since the early 70’s. He is clearly unqualified to make policy decisions for out city.

But back to the EC. The only way this is going to be built is if the task force comes up with a fair funding solution first. I have said from the beginning they are putting the cart in front of the horse and getting no where.

#14 Warren Phear on 04.22.09 at 8:46 am

If this city continues to grow at even a moderate pace, we’ll be more than double our current size by then.

John Morrell and Company in Sioux Falls is on the verge of collapse. The predatory practices of the credit card industry is under the microscope, and if regulations on those predatory practices come to fruition, the straw that stirs the Sioux Falls drink will be GONE.

Is that the growth you are talking about?

#15 Costner on 04.22.09 at 9:25 am

“John Morrell and Company in Sioux Falls is on the verge of collapse.”

Am I the only AH here that thinks this would be a net positive for the city?

I’ve been asking for that to happen for years.

There…I said it.

#16 Warren Phear on 04.22.09 at 9:51 am

Smithfield and Morrells have a lot of issues. I have documented many of them. But… and this is really hard to say, those issues pale in comparison to the First Premier Bank card operation, and the other fee harvesters operating in our “fair” city.

#17 Ghost of Dude on 04.22.09 at 10:46 am

The fee harvesters can adjust their business model and do just fine. Cubicles, computers, servers, and procedures can be adjusted to accomadate new regulations. It happens in my industry every year and we’re still here. The CC industry is no different.
Smithfield cannot say the same. The only thing they can hope to do is reduce labor costs per unit sold and have cheaper inputs. You’d think a business that sells something everyone needs to survive would find a way to make money at it.

#18 l3wis on 04.22.09 at 11:07 am

I agree with you Costner, though I think closing JM’s will affect the SF economy, I think it will only hurt us for a few months. You have to realize the majority of floor workers of JM’s are not from SF, and most likely ended up here because of the packing plant. If the plant moves, they will move with it, that is common in the packing industry. Unfortunately they will take a lot of people with them. But the positive outweighs the negative IMO.

#19 Costner on 04.22.09 at 11:18 am

“Unfortunately they will take a lot of people with them.”

That is sort of why I think it would be a good thing for them to close. The elimination of a smell is a distant second.

The only problem is, that plant is large enough that eventually someone would buy it and we would be right back where we started. I sincerely doubt there is any hope to demolish it and use that space for something slightly more appealing.

My guess is I’ll see that about the same time 26th cuts through the country clubs and the Penn is moved near the state maintenance shop on Hwy 38.

In short: Never.

#20 l3wis on 04.22.09 at 11:29 am

I think if they close the city or state should use ID to buy it at a reduced rate and tell JM’s they can take what they want before they leave.

The biggest hurdle with the people leaving is that a lot of them are homeowners. There would be entire neighborhoods emptied out, that could have an affect on the lower income housing market. You and me both know a lot of them are refugees and immigrants. I think the AL did a story a few years back and determined that aproximately 19 different languages are spoken at JM’s. I don’t have a problem with diversity in our town, I think we need more of it actually, but I also think that immigrants should make more of an effort to cross train themselves in other fields so they don’t have to follow packing plants around everytime they lose there jobs.

#21 Ghost of Dude on 04.22.09 at 12:15 pm

The immigrants, at least the adults, often find it difficult to adjust and assimilate into a new society. Their kids, however, will probably be successful as long as they can stay in school.
If they all left, the neighborhood west of Minn Ave. DT would be pretty empty. That would, however, leave cheap real estate for some devloper to buy up and improve.

#22 Costner on 04.22.09 at 1:47 pm

And I predict casino robberies would decrease 40% within 90 days of JM’s closing.

Oh wait….is that racial or class profiling? I’m an ass, but at least I’m a realistic ass.

#23 Ghost of Dude on 04.22.09 at 2:06 pm

I predict they’d decrease 100% if we’d dump video lottery altogether.

#24 Costner on 04.22.09 at 2:42 pm

Well they would, but then convenience store robberies would skyrocket!

Why somewant wants to rob a place that has no more than $150 in the register is beyond me. If I’m going to rob something other than a casino, I’m hitting up that plasma place on North Minnesota Ave. They pay cash for donations so you know they have a pile in the till at any given moment.

* Apologies in advance if someone decides to rob them in the next week or two.

#25 Ghost of Dude on 04.22.09 at 2:54 pm

I’d find one of those bubbas who are hoarding gold, scout the place out for a week or two – find security weaknesses, establish a schedule for the occupants, etc. and then rob the place when he wasn’t home.
It’s risky, but the payoff is huge.

#26 Costner on 04.22.09 at 2:59 pm

Is that the plot for Ocean’s 14?

#27 l3wis on 04.23.09 at 6:19 am

The Plasma place probably has a safe and and emergency locking system, so it probably wouldn’t be the smartest place to rob.

I have often wondered if the people who are robbing casinos are from here? I think most of them are traveling thieves.

#28 Costner on 04.23.09 at 7:02 am

The ones they seem to catch are always local, and dare I say a disproportionate number of them have names that don’t exactly originate on the prairie. I’m all for diversification as it opens a lot of eyes, but I just wish we could have better integration and not just the Lutheran Social Services forced integration that simply adds more uneducated low wage earners to the city.

I don’t want to sound like a racist or anything, but Sioux Falls is what….around 89% white, yet when a suspect is described for a Casino robbery it is either a black male or a hispanic male around 80% of the time.

So is this simply due to the economic differences rather than the geographical, societal, or racial differences? If so, why don’t we see more Native Americans involved in such crimes – clearly they are in a lower economic class as well.

So I guess when I see accusations of racial profiling I always tend to think it isn’t so much profiling as it is simply the law of averages.

Not a popular opinion I suspect, but I’m not known for being politically correct.

#29 l3wis on 04.23.09 at 7:29 am

This is the stats that have always shocked me (rough numbers);

10% of the population is minority in SF.

20-25% of the school districts population is minority.

Who is having more kids? I think there needs to be a strong community effort in comprehensive sex ed and free birth control for adults in our community, no matter your color, creed or class.

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