Nancy Halverson at Dem Forum for Levitt at the Falls

I learned a lot today about the Levitt that I wasn’t aware of. Did you know;

• Levitt (Halverson) must raise approximately $605K a year locally to stay afloat.

• There will be no more Sunday concerts (it was too hot for them) they may do the family concerts on Friday mornings.

• At the Kory & the Fireflies concert the SFPD used it as a training exercise for a possible active shooter. There was a sharp shooter on top of the Lloyd building during the concert.

• JJ’s sold $41K in alcohol at the concerts. I want to applaud JJ’s, they did an excellent and professional job. I still think we should be able to bring our own 6-Pack.

• Approimately 58K attended the concerts this season.

• The city is planning on prepping the land North of Levitt for event space that will be tied into the Sioux Steel Development.

Sanford wanted to be the leading major sponsor and Halverson had to explain to them that isn’t Levitt policy. In other words, Sanford wanted to pay more for corporate sponsorship then anyone else (and wanted more recognition of course). Halverson told them that ‘All corporate/major sponsors are treated the same and pay the same’. I thought that was refreshing.

It ended with Q & A, and I told Halverson she ‘Knocked it out of the park!’ and I encouraged everyone to go. I added, ‘Even if you don’t like the band playing, guess what, you can leave, you are NOT out of anything!’



8 comments ↓

#1 An inspiring Chief Siren Officer on 09.20.19 at 8:08 pm

They should name tornadoes the way they name hurricanes, but after the fact a course.

As a city we could make money from this, in terms of naming rights. I can image Sanford I, Sanford II, and Sanford III, given the recent events in our fine town.

( – and Woodstock claims: “I can image a headline that reads: ‘Sanford I whomps Avera.'”)

#2 A Taupe Siren Salesman on 09.20.19 at 8:25 pm

“At the Kory & the Fireflies concert the SFPD used it as a training exercise for a possible active shooter. There was a sharp shooter on top of the Lloyd building during the concert.”

( – and a grandchild ponders: “What Grandpa? You use to be able to go to outdoor events without a sharp shooter?…. You were brave, Grandpa.”)

( – and Woodstocks further asks: “Sharp shooter or not, why wasn’t Kory wearing any shoes that night?”)

#3 Not Surprised on 09.21.19 at 4:00 pm

Levitt (Halverson) must raise approximately $605K a year locally to stay afloat.

Ongoing private fundraising is a part of every Levitt Pavilion in the U.S. This requirement has been known by the powers-to-be for years going way back to Levitt’s first exploratory trip to SF.

How long will it be before Mrs. Joe Kirby shows up looking for a handout from the taxpayers?

Another fact about the Levitt arrangement the public may not be aware of: one of the stipulations by Levitt is that one full-time city employee must be dedicated strictly to the Levitt.

At the Kory & the Fireflies concert the SFPD used it as a training exercise for a possible active shooter. There was a sharp shooter on top of the Lloyd building during the concert.

This has been a ‘soft target’ since the day it opened. Why did it take SFPD until the last concert of the summer to address this?

#4 l3wis on 09.21.19 at 4:27 pm

I think she will be able to raise it, but I think if the economy goes South (which a lot of indicators saying it will) it will be a little harder. She did say that just by passing the bucket they raised $51K this past year, which is well over $1K per event. I’m not sure who the full-time city person would be, but I do know Nancy said that the taxpayers are responsible for all maintenance to the site since we own everything out there. She said that they were prepared at every event for security except for Brule and that is why they had more at Kory. Nancy said that it is pretty much her #1 priority is security of the guests. All volunteers and staff are trained to look for things that may be suspicious. I’m sure this is why they have a bag search sign. I still argue they can’t really search your bag unless they see a Hookah, bottle of Whiskey or shotgun sticking out. Unfortunately our Governor and legislature in all their infinite wisdom have set up a very dangerous scenario where you can basically carry guns without permits anywhere. I’m sure several citizens were packing at the event which doesn’t really make us safer because I could see a shoot-out scenario with law enforcement and citizens trying to ‘help’. I never sit in a lawn chair at the concerts and always stay on my feet. I think if our council had any courage they would ban firearms in all city parks with clearly marked signage. If the SFSD can ban firearms on school grounds I think our council can ban them in parks.

#5 A member of the "Tornado Leadership Team" on 09.21.19 at 8:10 pm

Now, would this dedicated city FTE be known as the “Chief Levitt Officer?”

#6 Hidden Expense on 09.22.19 at 9:49 am

Where have they hidden the expense of this employee in the budget?

They certainly have never been upfront about this ongoing cost.

I was at the Park and Rec Board meeting when the group from Levitt had their first visit to SF.

They handed out their literature which included the information that every Levitt facility is required to have one full-time city employee dedicated to their facility.

#7 l3wis on 09.22.19 at 11:23 am

I looked at the 2019 salaries and there was NO ONE listed as a Levitt caretaker. I did see the city has a maintenance person dedicated to the Zoo.

#8 Michael L. Wyland on 09.23.19 at 12:51 pm

I am a former Levitt board member. I was never involved or aware of any conversations about a (national) Levitt Foundation requirement that the City of Sioux Falls dedicate an employee to Levitt at the Falls, whether city-paid or otherwise.

It would make sense that someone in the SF Parks Department be designated to act as liaison with Levitt, but I can’t imagine that that would be a full-time position. In fact, I would expect there to be a similar liaison position to accommodate every facility owned by the city and managed privately. NOTE: I’m not saying one FTE per facility! I’m just saying that there should be a “go to” person in city government responsible for liaison, troubleshooting, etc. with these multiple facilities.