Events Center Public Meeting, tonight. Finally.

Tuesday, March 22

5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Events Center Public Open House

The Mayor will be hosting a public open house on the Events Center topic on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Morningside Community Center, located at 2400 South Bahnson Avenue.

Representatives from Sink Combs Dethlefs, Mortenson Construction, and AECOM—professional firms the City has hired—will be in attendance. They will provide updates on the progress of their respective studies and will answer any questions you may have.



39 comments ↓

#1 Sy on 03.22.11 at 8:14 am

Here’s a great question to ask:

The main reason the Mayor wants to locate at the Arena and it’s primary economic impact point is you will be able to add contiguous floor space to attract larger conventions. Does it not matter that:

A. the industry is in decline
B. we don’t have competitive airfares
C. we don’t have the hotel capacities to handle a convention with more than 500 attendees
D. The CVB has stated the few conventions we’ve had at the CC don’t come back.

#2 Sy on 03.22.11 at 9:00 am

Or how about this one: One of the stated reasons the least expensive downtown site; the block along Minnesota Avenue between 6th and 8th streets was eliminated was due to a public park being there and it would take a public vote to relocate it. However, the preferred parking alternative at the Arena is to take a public park and pave over the brand new ball diamonds and relocate them. Why is it okay to do so at one site but not the other?

#3 Sy on 03.22.11 at 9:03 am

Or how about this one:

The Arena area is known to have existing drainage issues, where will the new detention pond for the site be located and how will that impact the parking locations?

#4 Costner on 03.22.11 at 10:55 am

Sounds like you should just go and ask your questions yourself Sy. Not as if anyone doesn’t already know your preference though, so I’m doubtful any answer would be acceptable in your eyes.

#5 Charlie on 03.22.11 at 11:59 am

I heard a rumor a while back that Huether is an investor with the Ramkota. If it’s true, it would make sense as to why Mikey want’s a new EC at the arena site.

#6 l3wis on 03.22.11 at 2:32 pm

Charlie – I heard that floated around before. Not sure if that is true. I do know that certain execs with the Ramkota Companies did support Huether.

#7 Costner on 03.22.11 at 2:44 pm

If that was true, we would probably have already seen the memo on the BID site. I don’t give rumors any credibility unless there is some connection to fact – but anyone affiliated with either location needs to be up front and honest about all connections… financial or otherwise.

#8 Sy on 03.22.11 at 2:56 pm

You know..for a “follow the money” kind of guy Costner, you seem to not give two shits that this Mayor will happily cram down a crappy plan down the voters throats to the tune north of $100 million while twisting and contorting the truth (and breaking a central campaign promise) along the way.

Come clean for once, you fell for the perfect hair, the historic quotes and the catchy yellow logo right..you’re standing by MyMan to the end, tell us why?

#9 Sy on 03.22.11 at 2:58 pm

L3wis is correct, a couple Ramkota guys backed Huether, while NONE of his former colleagues at Premier Bankcard/FP Bank did.

What does that tell you?

#10 Charlie on 03.22.11 at 7:12 pm

Initially many of the Republican Premier execs didn’t support Huether because of antics like we’re seeing him pull as mayor. When it came down to a runoff against Kermit, Mike may have gotten some of those votes because he was considered more progressive, plus there was already an established working relationship. In the end, large employers like Premier needs the support of the mayor and the mayor needs the support of Premier and other large employers. It’s interesting that Denny and Kelby have no plans to donate to a new EC. Huether burned his bridge with Denny and Kelby knows who butters his bread.

#11 anominous on 03.22.11 at 7:20 pm

Fascinating.

#12 l3wis on 03.23.11 at 1:01 am

I did not make the meeting, to tell you the truth, I said fuck it. Tuesday is my only day off, so I drank a martini and had sushi instead.

Did anyone else go?

#13 Costner on 03.23.11 at 6:38 am

Sy: “You know..for a “follow the money” kind of guy Costner, you seem to not give two shits that this Mayor will happily cram down a crappy plan…

Blah, blah, blah. This has zero to do with his plan and all to do with me not putting faith in idiotic rumors. First of all, Huether disclosed all of his investments during his campaign, and I don’t recall hearing anything about being invested in the Ramkota or any other facility in that area. Second, if he was connected financially you can bet your ass you and your fellow BIDers would be all over him like spray tan on a Jersey Girl, and three I find it incredibly pathetic that people are out there even trying to suggest such a rumor (or doing nothing to quash it) when they know full well it isn’t true.

Sy: “Come clean for once, you fell for the perfect hair, the historic quotes and the catchy yellow logo right..you’re standing by MyMan to the end, tell us why?

You’re short term memory sucks. I didn’t support Huether in the election either in the primary or in the run-off and I never voted for the man. I have also already said numerous times I don’t support the EC at the Arena site… but then again I don’t support it at all so the location is sort of a moot point.

Perhaps instead of making assumptions (incorrect assumptions by the way) you would be well served to just make a blanket statement that anyone who isn’t on board with building an EC downtown where you want it is just quiet simply wrong and a doodie head.

Wouldn’t that be a lot easier than all of the character assassination and misdirection?

#14 Scott on 03.23.11 at 7:53 am

I’ve never understood the idea that it HAS to be at this or that location. So the upcoming study will be on the mark if it chooses where you want it, or a completely flawed waste of time if it picks the other location? As somebody who agrees with Poly that the entire project is a folly, all I can do is laugh at all of these single-minded folks.

#15 scott on 03.23.11 at 8:09 am

aren’t the ramkota folks planning on building a hotel downtown? i’m not for this thing, but it seems they win with either location.

#16 Poly43 on 03.23.11 at 8:19 am

Sy.

What did you think of the piece the Argus did Sunday on Lincolns EC?

http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011103200309

Entertaining to say the least.

#17 Sy on 03.23.11 at 8:27 am

Just sayin’ Costner, BID isn’t perpetuating any rumor about the Mayor and Ramkota, that was floated by Charlie and L3wis had heard it too. I hadn’t heard that, but it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if there’s some grease in there somewhere.

Again, you were/are more interested in how BID is funded. You also don’t give a rip that we have one sitting Councilor waiting to pop open a big sports bar or something in his building a block away from the site and another Councilor who used a procedural move (an illegitmate one at that) to squash a presentation of the downtown site at the Land Use committee meeting.

#18 Poly43 on 03.23.11 at 8:43 am

we have one sitting Councilor waiting to pop open a big sports bar or something in his building a block away from the site

Does he still own that building?

#19 Sy on 03.23.11 at 9:31 am

Lincoln gets it, period. They rolled the track relocation in with the project and sold it on the economics. They have an estimated $260 million annual economic impact plugged in and just last week on KSFY Mike Cooper said our Arena has a $19 million annual impact. Best case is we double that at the Arena and we still fall well short of generating that kind of sales and excise tax revenues that will help pay the place off early. Lincoln has a higher sales tax rate I believe, and they also get that people from the western half of the State can figure out how to get in and out of downtown without any troubles. Wonder why we can’t?

Sure, you have UNL and their stellar Men’s Basketball program as a tenant, but that is only 40 dates a year with an average of 9K attendance per game. Between the Skyforce, Stampede and Storm we are at about that same attendance level annually. Our Metro areas are similar in population, but unlike Lincoln..we don’t have an Omaha 40 miles up the road to compete with. We are the primary destination for our region, they are #2 yet they aren’t pissing in their pants at the idea that they may have to compete with Quest and that dump Mid-America in Council Bluffs.

They are talking 16K seats, we are talking 12K. They actually are going to embrace architecture and build something that doesn’t look like a big, concrete box..as they get this thing needs to be a draw for 50 years or so.

Lincoln also figured out how to bust the nut without raising sales or property taxes, which is why it passed last spring with a decent majority. We’d be wise to do the same.

#20 Sy on 03.23.11 at 9:32 am

Poly:

“Does he still own that building?”

Yes. Get ready for Big Jim’s Sports Bar and Harley Museum. Sound like a place to take the wife for a cheap night out?

#21 Sy on 03.23.11 at 9:43 am

scott:

“aren’t the ramkota folks planning on building a hotel downtown? i’m not for this thing, but it seems they win with either location.”

Yes, they want to go in by the CNA building. 4 story, nice (but not grand) place with meeting space attached. They are doing so whether or not the EC goes in. They and Summit Group are two of the top 300 hotel operators in the Nation, neither one has ever looked seriously at building a new hotel at the Arena even when the Convention Center came in. Why? Because the Arena & CC by themselves don’t generate the kind of traffic that makes financial sense to do so. Why is that? No one goes there unless they have to, and once they go they don’t stay around.

Also, under the current Arena site plan…there’s no room for another hotel. There’s at least 3 viable spots for one within 3 blocks of Cherapa.

#22 Sy on 03.23.11 at 9:50 am

Again, you don’t have to take my word on it:

“I don’t see cities say ‘We made a mistake. We built it downtown.’” – Stan Meredith, principal for DLR Group of Omaha

“It’s a wonderful facility, But we always lament it’s not downtown. We don’t get the ancillary benefits of people wandering into stores or going out to eat.” – Ron Butlin, Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs

http://www.builditdowntown.com

#23 Scott on 03.23.11 at 11:24 am

The Argus article also neglected the attendance impact of having 50,000 students in the city…or that the city of 600,000 nearby may be competition of getting the event but conversely greatly assists in filling the seats of those events you do sign up.

Those 50,000 young adults are the prime target for any event at that building…not just the actual school events. If we had a “real” university in this city, I’d have a completely different opinion on a EC.

#24 Scott on 03.23.11 at 11:29 am

I love you Sy but you are the king of spin, spin, spin. lolz

#25 Sy on 03.23.11 at 11:45 am

Okay Scott, but we have 10K students here and 30K students within 45 miles north and south. So no, we aren’t Lincoln, but we are closer than you think.

We are also growing a bit faster, have a bit lower tax rate and we have a lower unemployment rate.

So sure, we shouldn’t expect a $260 or so economic impact, but we could expect closer to half that amount if we do it right and all the things that are planned to happen downtown happen in 10 years instead of 30.

Again, the Arena today with it’s 400K visitors = $19 million impact x .06% = $1,140,000 in associated sales tax revenue. That is what freakin’ Bemidji should be excited about, not Sioux Falls. Plus, we are eating that money up with an ongoing remodel job to the roof and the mechanical & plumbing systems just to keep the doors open, not even addressing the scoreboard or ADA compliance. pathetic.

#26 Costner on 03.23.11 at 12:26 pm

Sy: Just sayin’ Costner, BID isn’t perpetuating any rumor about the Mayor and Ramkota, that was floated by Charlie and L3wis had heard it too.

Any nobody accused BID of perpetuating such a rumor. My comment was that if the rumor had any truth to it, that BID would have made it abundantly clear by now. Thus, it seems obvious there isn’t any truth to it (and we know form the mayor’s campaing finance disclosures that it isn’t true from what I recall).

Sy: Again, you were/are more interested in how BID is funded.

I’m interested in all funding from all sides. I have also already called for openness in terms of who owns property or who would benefit financially. That includes the councilmembers as well as special interest groups that have a vested interest in the location (which includes BID). Since BID isn’t exactly opening their books to the public and you will only say you are a “self-funded private group of passionate citizens” it suggests you are hiding something. Not much more to it than that.

Sy: You also don’t give a rip that we have one sitting Councilor waiting to pop open a big sports bar or something in his building a block away from the site and another Councilor who used a procedural move (an illegitmate one at that) to squash a presentation of the downtown site at the Land Use committee meeting.

Bold faced lies on both counts. Your selective and biased memory is failing you since I specifically said if Enteman owns property near the Arena he should recuse himself from any vote pertaining to location. As far as the councilor who used a procedural move to “quash” your presentation, nothing about it was illegitimate. You may not have liked the outcome, but the rules were clear. You can blame those councilors who didn’t vote for the outcome, but you can’t complain about the rules merely because things didn’t work in your favor.

In any case we learned that your presentation was from 2005 and was using old data anyway… so what good would it have done other than give you a little free time on CityLink TV?

#27 Poly43 on 03.23.11 at 1:39 pm

Get ready for Big Jim’s Sports Bar and Harley Museum.

Great. Now I can bowl for awhile, then walk over to big Jims and watch the STEELERS.

#28 Poly43 on 03.23.11 at 1:44 pm

If we had a “real” university in this city, I’d have a completely different opinion on a EC.

I agree Scott. As I recall, the UNL campus is on the north end of DT Lincoln. IF Falls Park were home to a Big 12 school that had seven times as many students as Sioux Falls, then by all means, built it…and they will come.

#29 Poly43 on 03.23.11 at 1:56 pm

They have an estimated $260 million annual economic impact plugged in and just last week on KSFY Mike Cooper said our Arena has a $19 million annual impact.

These “Economic Impact” guys are pulling numbers out of their butts. IF we had a DT EC, and IF we put 7,000 Billy Bobs in there for a Monster Truck Show, how many of those Billy Bobs do you suppose reside in the SF MSA? It would be a majority I would guess. A vast majority. Those same Billy Bobs are gonna spend a couple hundred bucks DT instead of at the Sport Bowl. Where’s the economic impact? OH…..that’s right.

DOWNTOWN

#30 Poly43 on 03.23.11 at 2:30 pm

Getting back to Lincoln. The EC isn’t even off the ground yet, and it’s being proclaimed an economic impact engine. 16,500 seats for $11,000 a seat. That would put our own 12,000 seater at $132,000,000.

But we don’t wanna go there. At least not yet.

Lincoln also had DT railroad tracks to deal with. That added $49,325,000 to the project cost. Maybe Thune and Noem can procure that funding for us? Maybe. Maybe not.

But we don’t wanna go there. At least not yet.

Lincoln realized they would have gridlock on their streets without making improvements. They are improving their DT streets. Add on another $28,910,857.

But we don’t wanna go there. At least not yet.

Lincoln did not try to con citizens into believing there is a ready supply of “AVAILABLE” parking. Add on another $35,792,765 for parking.

But we don’t wanna go there. At least not yet.

Lincoln has utility and drainage issues to deal with, same as we will, to the tune of $16,000,000.

But we don’t wanna go there. At least not yet.

Lincoln made it very clear up front how their McArena would be funded.

But we don’t wanna go there. At least not yet.

WHY IS THAT?

#31 Scott on 03.23.11 at 2:35 pm

Poly rules.

#32 Sy on 03.23.11 at 3:52 pm

Lincoln’s campus ends where downtown begins, at least it did last fall when I was down there and walked to and from the Husker game from the Haymarket. Fail.

They also have a HUGE railyard that’s coming out, so if they can do that for $49 million, we should be okay with our 10 sets of tracks relocating for $36 million. Thune and Tim already secured the funding, the question is do we get to spend it before the Feds take it back? Fail.

Lincoln’s downtown only has gridlock during the Husker Home games when 70K come to town. They have the same issues with North/South traffic as we have with East/West. Most of the students will be walking across campus to see a Basketball game, so your argument that they are freaking out over 10K people coming in for a game or a concert is ludicrous. Fail again.

Parking? You know what Lincoln builds that all of us (with the exception of the Hositpals) don’t? Ramps. Lots of ramps, many with street level retail. They’ve discovered that if you build those, people will use them…even if they are coming in from Rulo, NE. And guess what else? Those ramps in downtown get used day and night, so they get paid off in a matter of years, not decades. Parking = cash cow for them, that why they don’t blink at dropping $40 million on a ramp. Fail once again.

Drainage? At the Arena, yes as we know from the big flush that happens before and after every Storm game or Carrie Underwood show. Our downtown site has none of those issues, as it’s right by the recently upgraded main storm sewer station. Plus, no better place for drainage than the Big Sioux, which it right there. Fail, fail & more fail.

We can go there all day if you like.

#33 Poly43 on 03.24.11 at 4:46 am

Sy.

Have you read the Walker Parking and Traffic Study of 2009 for Lincoln? You should. Have you read the Walker Parking Study for Sioux Falls? You should.

l3wis.

What happened to your leading story on huether? Did the thought police get to you?

From the pages of1984.

“Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.”

“If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say this or that even, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death.”

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'”

#34 Sy on 03.24.11 at 6:44 am

Poly, you…me, L3wis, Scott, anonimous, Beer Jew, Angry Guy, Scooter, Tom H., Hosenpheffer, GoD, scott, Scott2, Costner, Pathloss and 127 of our closest SDCola friends should all meet sometime at Kilian Community College for a free beer & bratwurst party. If all 143 of us take our own cars, do you think we would all have our own place to park or do you think the last 39 of us would have to find a spot on the street or somewhere else?

If you believe the Architects, who got their data from the City/Darrin Smith…the later scenario would be what you’d expect. If you ask someone at Kilian or go count them yourself like you’ve always stated you would do, you’ll see we can all fit in their lot.

That’s a 37% discrepency that’s tilted against downtown. Does that sound like a trustworthy process to you?

#35 l3wis on 03.24.11 at 7:02 am

I took it down on my own accord, no pressure. I didn’t want to sound like a pop pyschologist.

#36 Costner on 03.24.11 at 8:11 am

There are only a few issues with your idea Sy.

First, if Killian is like any other reputable educational institution they probably wouldn’t allow alcohol on their campus.

Second, we would have to ensure this little soirée doesn’t happen during school hours, because if there was a few classes going on I’m guessing the parking situation would be dramatically different.

Third, we would have to have an agreement in place with Killian before just assuming we could park there, because most private businesses and private organizations won’t allow just anyone to park in their lot unless they are compensated. Since you are friends with Millage I’m sure you would get a free pass, but the other 142 of us might end up being towed.

Fourth… where in Sioux Falls can someone get a free beer and brat? If you want to sponsor the party I’ll be sure and show up! Screenprint some “Syverson Tile” logos on the plastic cups and you can write it off as marketing expense. If you want to get even more fancy, put a BID logo on the back and ask for good-will donations. I’ll chip in my $10 at the door just to show no ill will, and I’ll save the cup as a piece of Sioux Falls history.

#37 Poly43 on 03.24.11 at 10:48 am

Sy. If you ever have time, try to read these two Walker Studies. One for SF. One for Lincoln. On the Lincoln link click on “Download the complete study.”

Both great reads. Good insight into how much additional parking we need, where, how much, and how they plan on funding it, at least partly so. Then maybe we can get together, you owing me beer or two and all, and talk EC’s and old times.

http://www.siouxfalls.org/Parking/related_documents/parking_needs_assessment

http://parkandgo.org/about/parking-studies/view/downtown-lincoln-comprehensive-parking-study-october-2009

#38 Scott on 03.24.11 at 1:11 pm

“I’ll save the cup as a piece of Sioux Falls history.”

It would be a collector’s item after the project goes down in election flames.

#39 Poly43 on 03.25.11 at 2:31 pm

If you ask someone at Kilian or go count them yourself like you’ve always stated you would do, you’ll see we can all fit in their lot.

Don’t have to go count it. It’s right here in the Walker Parking Study.

Pg 24

The community college currently has 140 parking spaces. Students unable to park on-site during peak weekday evening periods are required to park in nearby surface lots. Security is an issue and additional on-site or proximate parking supply is desired. According to the Kilian C.C. representatives, during peak periods approximately 175 spaces would be adequate.

On the Kilian webpage they say they have right at 400 students. Throw in about 20 admin types. Kilian also offers 8 different courses each weekday night. I would venture a good percentage of those 400 students are night students. Don’t know for sure. Point is, that 140 spot parking lot is largely used from 8 am to 9 pm.

Imagine this. Our DT Sanford Center is in place right next Cherapa, and across the street from Kilian. The Sanford Center edged out Tyson for the May 12th Tim McGraw “Event”. Imagine this “event” packs 7000 rabid fans into our 12,000 seat McArena. By the Walker study formula for parking, this event will require about 2800 AVAILABLE parking spots within 2,000 WALKING feet. Remember…May 12th is a Thursday night.

WWMMD? What would Mark Millage do? As the head of Kilian would he throw his students and faculty under the bus to sell prime parking spots for $20 a pop? My guess is students, people who work DT at night, shoppers, and diners who do not want to pay a ransom for parking will be parked somewhere south of 12th street or west of Minnesota Avenue. Can you spell clusterf#@k?