Has the Denny Sanford Premier Center lost its luster?

Well, I could have seen this coming a mile away. As Scott Hudson and I discussed on our podcast before the Denty was built, the industry wasn’t really moving in a direction of big sold out concerts. The Premier Center was a splash in the pan, but unfortunately, we have to pay the mortgage and maintenance on the facility for its life.

Part of the issue was the way the bonds were passed to build the facility. It was many first time voters that didn’t know that it was an advisory vote (a real bond election would have required a 60% passage). If it would have been a REAL bond election, the EC would have failed.

I still think remodeling the Arena, turning the current convention center into a recreational facility and moving the Convention Center downtown would have been a better choice.

I had a person ask me the other day what I thought were Sioux Falls’ best years since I have lived here. (He moved here with his wife in 2010 and runs a successful small business). I told him that golden years were between 1997-2007. Downtown Sioux Falls was full of great live music and live music venues and was really a great place to be. I think we could have continued that trend if it were not for the 2008 recession. I don’t think the Sioux Falls middle class really bounced back from that recession. Wages were frozen throughout the city for several years and the only ones moving forward were the welfare queen developers who were cashing in on all the tax incentives. I think that ruined Sioux Falls, growth for growth sakes.

If the 2008 recession could have been avoided, and we throttled back on the growth in 2007 we would be a much better community for it. But hey! At least we have a dented up empty can to be proud of.



10 comments ↓

#1 D@ily Spin on 07.29.22 at 1:12 pm

I was skeptical but shocked when the EC took off with some good concerts. It seemed downhill after the second year. A city this size can hardly afford fees for name entertainment. There’s hardly enough revenue to make bond payments. The original vote stated ‘do you want an EC near the Convention Center or downtown’. I thought a location was voted for but Huether turned it into construction. It seems there are to many other smaller facilities. The EC will always struggle if it’s big concerts only.

#2 D@ily Spin on 07.29.22 at 1:20 pm

Maybe it’s best use is for Derechos to play kick the can.

#3 scott on 07.29.22 at 1:45 pm

notice the lack of corporate sponsorships now, compared to when it opened.

#4 Very Stable Genius on 07.29.22 at 1:51 pm

If you remember right, Skyforce announced just after that advisory vote, that it was moving to the new Pentagon. Had that been known before the vote, I don’t think it would have passed.

Also, that advisory vote was in November of 2011, right? Then soon after, in December of 2011, KELO did a story about the event centers in Omaha, Sioux City, Minneapolis, and Fargo, and came to the conclusion the reason Sioux Falls was missing out on more big name concerts was because of its close proximity to the other aforementioned cities and not so much because of the Arena’s adequacies and inadequacies.

Now, read the most recent Argus piece on our current Events Center and you will notice that Sioux Falls officials admittedly are trying even now, with a newer events center, to latch on to big name concerts as they come through other cities like Omaha, Sioux City, and Fargo. So apparently, our new Events Center wasn’t enough and the real problem is our proximity to these other cities which then win out because of their population and I think also in the case of Fargo, that it has the psychological advantage on being directly linked to the Twin Cities with I-94 even if its still a 200 mile, while Sioux City has the Omaha proximity advantage.

( and Woodstock adds: “What if Dua came to the Premier Center?”…. (…. “YES!” (with a clinched fist)) …. )

#5 Democrat virus? on 07.29.22 at 5:38 pm

I think it was going pretty good until the “virus” hit. Obviously these “stars” are mostly lib’rals, and wouldn’t leave their house cause of this flu. Now, we have the new improved midterm virus being unleashed, who knows where this will go? But, I’m sure after November, it will be safe to go back outside. Remember, Dr Birx now admits she knew the vaccine wouldn’t stop the spread from the beginning….you all a bunch of suckers!

#6 Doja Dogg on 07.29.22 at 5:48 pm

Somehow, we went from Elton John and Paul McCartney to a country opening act for Snoop Dogg. Wow, talk about a canary in an events center.

#7 No Event for Center on 07.30.22 at 8:39 am

Buildings like the EC have a 5 year luster zone of promoter interest. It is now a thing of the past. It will likely get only occasional oldie groups and with the collapse of the convention business happening no foot traffic.

Nothing interesting to see or do there, so let’s move along and let Sioux Falls collapse under the debt burden.

Thanks for the great job MMM!

#8 VSG on 07.30.22 at 11:20 am

“….. Remember, Dr Birx now admits she knew the vaccine wouldn’t stop the spread from the beginning….you all a bunch of suckers!”…..

BUT, the vaccine lessens the severity of the infection for most.

AND, wasn’t it Dr. Birx who allowed Trump to continue with his Lysol advocacy at a spring 2020 press conference?…. I think so….

#9 "Woodstock" on 07.30.22 at 11:29 am

“I can’t wait until they fully develop hologram technology, then there will be no need for concerts at big event centers”… “Hell, then you can just have the stars pop-in at your house”…. (“Wow!”…. “Talk about Dua in your living room”…. )

#10 Scott D Hudson on 07.30.22 at 12:35 pm

Leave it to “Democratic Virus” to turn a post about the EC into a nonsensical political comment.

I said this back then and I’ll say it again today. OF COURSE acts are going to choose Minneapolis and Omaha over Sioux Falls!!! You’re going to play the cities with the bigger population base, especially in an era where tours are short and the stage setup is expensive. it’s no longer Cheap Trick playing 300 shows a year hitting each and every market. And the Fargo situation is more of a myth than reality but the couple of more shows they may or may not get is primarily due to the fact that they also have a “real” university with close to 15,000 students are enrolled.