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?


#1 Bruce on 03.11.14 at 7:35 am

And the administration wonders why so many of us do not believe anything they tell us.

Tell us this, promise that, build a story, do something different, sell us, sell us.

To put this into context, it reminds me a book title from about 10 years ago, “Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”.

#2 pathloss on 03.11.14 at 9:34 am

If all we have to do is call everything SANFORD, it’s worth taking back his money that was made from people he cheated. Once he dies we’ll rename it for another filthy rich ego. Once the events center fails and collapses, we’ll call it Huether.

#3 rufusx on 03.11.14 at 10:27 am

Shall we discuss how many domain names I own and what that means?

How about a friend of mine who back in the late 90’s speculatively purchased 100’s and 100’s of domain names – in fact – made a business/living from doing so.

#4 l3wis on 03.11.14 at 11:22 am

Once again Ruf, right over your head, because you are blinded by defending government, any government. This isn’t about a domain, it is about a TIMELINE that this purchase has created.

– Superlative is fired
– Domain is bought
– Legends is hired
– Sanford is announced

Why was the domain purchased before a naming rights contractor was even mentioned? And if this deal was inked before Legends was hired, did they still receive a commission? And why wasn’t the council informed for the deal before or even when the domain was purchased. It looks like Smith is doing a lot of backtracking here to cover the bases.

#5 Anthony D. Renli on 03.12.14 at 4:07 pm

It’s a pretty standard business practice – If you think you might start bidding on anything, releasing any new product, starting any new initiative, you buy up domain names.
GoDaddy domain names run around $10-$15 a year. You buy them so you know you have them in case you need them. You buy them so nobody else buys them out from under you. My company (of 300 or so people) has something like 27 or 28 domain names registered to us.
It is a hell of a lot cheaper to register domain names for a project that you may not get (or even one that you probably won’t get) than it would be to try to buy them from somebody cyber-squatting on them after the fact.

Unless you can show that no other company speculatively registered a domain name around the same time, you’re grasping at straws.
Sanford Health and T. Denny have enough to ACTUALLY bash them on. This is not it.

#6 l3wis on 03.12.14 at 4:45 pm

Anthony, this isn’t about a domain purchase or even Sanford, this is about a timeline and transparency from City Hall (besides, who would have been buying up that domain name before a contract is inked, it’s cumbersome and too long IMO).

#7 rufusx on 03.13.14 at 12:13 pm

Well, you know what happens if you knock one of the legs out from under a three-legged conspiracy theory?

The conspiracy continues to stand/float – because even though it looks like a stool, it’s really a balloon filled with lighter than air gas.

#8 l3wis on 03.13.14 at 1:00 pm

What conspiracy? Didn’t know that is what I am talking about, just showing a FACTUAL timeline and asking what it means?