It took the Pavilion 20 years to break their own attendance record

And I’m about to tell you why it took so long;

More than 100,000 visitors have passed through the Pavilion’s doors this year. That’s 4,000 more than the previous record which was set in 2000.

So why did this take 20 years?

When the Pavilion opened they hosted many FREE events, such as various community concerts. They also had special deals to get into the Kirby Science Center. But one of the greatest things that encouraged attendance was a FREE visual arts center (except for special and international exhibits). It was a promise they made to the public who was helping to fund the facility (we still do, to the tune of millions each year in an operation’s subsidy and maintenance – we own the building).

But this wasn’t just for the people who appreciated visual art, this was done to get people thru the door and exposing them to the arts who normally would not. Then they might stroll over to the Kirby Science Center or buy a ticket to a show or movie, or visit the gift shop.

Currently, the Pavilion holds very few FREE events. I think First Friday is the only time you can walk thru the VAC for free. Heck, it has been so long since I have been enticed to go there, I couldn’t tell you. I do know they have special deals for seniors and veterans to.

The Pavilion needs to reopen the VAC for free again, but I doubt they will, since they wouldn’t want to break with their tradition of only catering to a the ‘specials’ in town that can afford it, while the rest of us foot the bill and hope some crumbs fall to the floor for us once in awhile.



4 comments ↓

#1 D@ily Spin on 11.12.19 at 8:43 am

It would be interesting to compare attendance records for when it was the Pavilion and when it was a high school. The Pavilion never made sense but Munson had to have it and Billion needed somewhere to balance a car.

#2 Dakota Cynic on 11.12.19 at 8:53 am

The big question that remains is how much in the red did the money pit go without the city subsidy? Inquiring minds want to know.

#3 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 11.12.19 at 12:45 pm

It must be the new, but ugly, overhang on the east entrance, that made this happen, huh?

Oh, and when are they going to wrap it all in Events Center style siding so as to better complement Washington Square?

#4 if i recall on 11.12.19 at 4:52 pm

the pavillion belongs to gary hansen. the vote for it was tied to the vote for the convention center.