Entries Tagged 'Denny Sanford Premier Center' ↓

Congressional hearing proves our Premier Center is a money vacuum

If you watch the hearing below you will see just how much of your ticket purchase goes to the big guys and how very little goes towards the artist. What is left out of the discussion is just how much money stays in our community. Very little. I have argued that when you spend money locally on entertainment that money gets re-circulated in the community when you spend it at the Denty most of it goes straight out of town. And SALES don’t reflect profit which doesn’t even cover 10% of our mortgage payment;

It was the Premier Center’s most profitable year yet, coming in at $2.1 million compared to the previous record of $1.5 million set in 2019.

And just how much of that ‘profit’ goes back to city coffers?

With Non-Profit Mergers you wonder what they have in the bank

This week was busy with another non-profit merger;

The Butterfly House & Aquarium has raised $4.2 million toward its capital campaign to expand aquarium exhibits, which can be applied toward the project, Otto-Pepper said.

Of course the Butterfly House is merging with the Zoo and it seems they have raised a lot of money.

LSS is also merging with the Multi-Cultural center, which I fully support, and probably is long past due.

But you have to wonder what is going on with their bank accounts.

As you know, the Levitt has yet to release numbers from their 2021 season even as their 2022 season has been finished for over a month.

The Denny Sanford Premier center is up for contract renewal and they are taking in millions in profits and commissions.

According to the Pavilion’s annual report in 2021 they had over $5 million in the bank. This is after basically skipping a year due to Covid. You also have to remember that we not only give the Pavilion a yearly operational subsidy but we give millions each year fixing the building due to the poor construction of the facility to begin with (windows, roofs, etc.)

Maybe it is time the city council takes a hard look at how much we are subsidizing these facilities taking into consideration how much is in their bank accounts. Do we really need to subsidize the Pavilion, the Zoo, the Denty and other facilities when they may have millions in their bank accounts. I don’t think so.

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.

Another Event Center Campus Committee, another study on the dusty shelf

I’m trying to figure out why we didn’t do something about the last study?

“We were getting ready to launch a market study to look at what’s the right sizing and scaling,” said Shawn Pritchett, director of finance for the city of Sioux Falls.

“Unfortunately with COVID, the market disappeared entirely, and there was nothing left to study.”

True. But why not just pick up where the committee left off? Why, once again, reinvent the wheel?

“You have to have the right type of expertise and professional experience to give truly meaningful outside perspective,” he said.

So are you saying the 1st committee didn’t have that? Not sure how a bunch of bankers and doctors are going to be much different?

When you look back on the first term of the administration, it’s hard to figure out what was accomplished accept a bunch of studies thrown in the garbage and a revolving door of directors at city hall. How do these people get elected and re-elected. Baffling.

SFPD Statement of the Day

I did not attend the Snoop Dogg concert last night, but I heard it was quite ‘smoky’ in the Denty. The SFPD released this statement;

Sioux Falls Public Information Officer Sam Clemens said that the police department did not receive any calls of drug use at the PREMIER Center during Tuesday’s show and there were no arrests made.

I guess he went on to say that there have also been no arrests made in the Tuthill ghost shooter event and the Gilberto’s incident. ‘At this time our concentration is just on arresting city employees’ (snarc).

Cannabis Leaves are fine for The Denny Sanford Premier Center Promotions but not for Medical MJ Dispensaries

I had to chuckle a bit when I saw this announcement today (where was Paul’s SECRET insider text message?).
Apparently it is okay to use Cannabis leaves to promote a Snoop concert at a taxpayer funded entertainment facility, but using the leaves on a medical MJ dispensary sign would be the end of the world.
What makes both ridiculous is that it is only a plant and not some kind of evil imagery.

Rumors about the Broken Ice at the Denny

Stampede fans have been talking on forums and FB;

Another comment said this;

This absolutely was not caused by the farm show or their people or their vendors. It was strictly the Denny staff that took all the ice out. Again the farm show staff nor any of their vendors caused this!

On FB host parents of the Stampede players have been saying they will get an update tomorrow about the ice repair and future of the season.

No matter how this happened, the truth needs to come out and the cost to tax payers. If the damage was caused by negligent EC staff, they need to pony up.

Minnehaha County Commission introduces Public Input Time Limits & Broken Ice

While I would love to blame the Commission for the authoritarian move to put a time limit on public input, it seems the Trumper election deniers have ruined it for the rest of us. The group (who obviously believe Trump won the election) have been berating the Commission over the past couple of months about election integrity and all the supposed problems with our elections like drop boxes, mail in ballots and of course fake news.

So the Commission has decided to change their long standing rule of NOT having a time limit on public input to now having a 5 Minute limit (with a cute little clock on the big screen) and similar to the SF School Board a sign up sheet, to which the chair said was to make sure they are spelling the public inputers names correctly. It is also a very nifty way to turn them over to the NSA, CIA and FBI ðŸ˜Š

While I totally understand the annoyance of ignorant morons who watch to much Newsmaxx (the city council has the march of the Anti-vaxxers that show up each week), I think instead of changing a long standing public input rule maybe the commission needs to change the rules of engagement with the inputers. I think a lot of times at public meetings, whether it is city council, school board or county commission some of these issues can be quickly resolved if you would just answer their questions on the spot. They may not like the answer, but if you are clear with them that they got a response there would be no reason to show up week after week complaining about the same stuff while building up their conspiracy theories.

After watching this, I have come to a different conclusion on ‘general’ public input. It really isn’t about the time limit, the position on the agenda of even decorum, it’s more about the governmental body interacting with the public during this time. But you will never get that since most of the local governmental bodies are run by authoritarians who want to keep their backroom deals and schemes secret. Just watch how the chair of the Lincoln County Commission runs the meetings . . . scary stuff.

ICE RINK AT EVENTS CENTER MALFUNCTIONS

The Denty having to cancel the Stampede games this weekend due to malfunctioning icing equipment is a flashing warning sign of what is coming for taxpayers. If you think the $10 million a year mortgage is draining us, wait until major upkeep and maintenance starts. The building is getting to the age that this stuff needs to start being budgeted for (7+ years old). Just look at the Pavilion, a place that was supposed to cost us $19 million has probably gone far beyond $100 million in maintenance and upgrades over the past 20+ years, and this is just a small facility compared to the Denty. A city official told me recently they will have to start budgeting major maintenance expenses starting next year (like siding replacement) and the price tag will NOT be small. I still think the Denty (besides the bunker ramp) was one of the stupidest investments this city ever made that sends around $20 million in profits straight out of town and out of state every year never to be recirculated locally, and don’t get me started on the location!

Concert Cancellation could be a lesson in Economic Impact

While I understand peeps frustration in Stapleton cancelling his show last night (he really could have done it earlier in the day) I really think this could be a lesson in local economic impact. As we know, the Denty hasn’t really helped the economy in Sioux Falls that much, in fact it is a drain of over $10 million a year to taxpayers, money that could be spent on needed infrastructure instead. As I have said before, besides the little bit of tax revenue we draw from the place each year, almost 100% of the money that is spent at the facility goes straight down the highway. The promoters, management companies (beverage and food included) and the artists get the lion’s share and take it straight out of town. Very little gets recirculated in the community.

But last night, I saw something amazing in DTSF. The streets were filled with flannel wearing, boot scootin’ concert goers that were stuck in town for the night without a show to go to. They were spending the money they intended to throw away at the Denty in our town at local businesses instead of to a corporate giant.

It would be interesting to see what the sales tax boost to the city was from last night.

One of the main reasons I opposed the Denty, wasn’t because of the price tag, it was because it would not benefit local business. When people are dropping $400 per person in one night (tickets, beverages, taxi, hotel, etc.) basically in one place, they have blown their entertainment budget for several months and not spending it locally.

I remember a time around 10-15 years ago when you had oodles of options to see live music and entertainment at a host of different venues. And not just local yocals but National and Regional acts. The money spent got recirculated in our community.

Let us learn from this incident.

Event Center column about 8 years too late

Many people have been talking about this article that popped up on the Argus Leader site on Friday. It is by the supposed anonymous food critic ‘Secret Fork’. Many have speculated, including myself, that Secret Fork isn’t such a big secret, but the GM of the Argus Leader, Cory Myers. While there has never been any confirmation of that, I don’t think the Argus would allow a food critic to write this article unless they were in some kind of leadership position, but speculation aside, let’s review;

It’s high time to declare a loss on the so-called Sports and Entertainment District.

Duh?! As I said in the title of this post, this article should have been written years ago. The EC was never going to revitalize the area, study after study proved that. The obvious recommendation was a Downtown location;

It turns out the question of whether the voters would support such a project was intertwined with proposed locations. Very early on in the process, a tug of war developed between those who wanted the project downtown versus those who felt the Arena/Howard Wood area was more suitable. 

The voters would have supported a DT location, if it were explained to them. But it really is moot, because the vote on the EC was not legal and only an advisory vote. If a legal vote would have been put on the ballot, the EC would have had to receive 60% of the vote to pass. This was a trick played so the City Council could approve this project without citizens really weighing in. I still run into people who actually thought their vote on the EC mattered. It wasn’t worth the paper the ballot was printed on. It was pretty much a straw poll with voting centers.

Still, the capacity to absorb any measurable chunk of a concert crowd in the so-called “district” remains elusive. But those crowds most certainly eat and drink before and after events. Where? Downtown. That’s the very definition of irony. And failure. In a city where we have literally turned salvage yards into showcases and breathed new life into aging industrial buildings, that’s unacceptable.

Some people eat DT before events, but most of the people who attend the EC for events drive directly there, spend any money they do have eating and drinking there then go home. And why wouldn’t they? When you spend $200+ on a ticket and probably another $50 on drinks and food, you really don’t have a lot of extra dough to go DT before or after an event.

I’ll say it until I am blue in the face, doesn’t matter if we would have built a smaller EC downtown or the current one. It is a drain on the city. All of the money sucked in from the facility (I estimate around $20 million + a year) goes directly out the door to promoters, artists and vendors and never gets recirculated in our community. Add that it costs taxpayers (from the 2nd penny) another $10 million + a year for the bond and maintenance on the facility and all you really have is a money vacuum sucking it right out of our town. Imagine if the $30 million spent in entertainment each year was spent on local venues, can you imagine the impact? We could have that right now if we never built that place.

I have speculated for a long time the management company that runs the EC has preferred that location all along, because they knew that people coming from out of town would drive directly there and spend their money there. Do you really think they would have wanted people eating and drinking in locally owned restaurants and bars DT before the show and spending very little once they walked in? They have also rejected an idea I pitched to the city council we add a bond fee to each ticket (around $5) saying it would hurt ticket sales and promoters and artists are against it. Other cities do it with much success and they just simply write it into ordinance and the promoters and artists have to accept it if they want to perform here.

This place has been a Class A disaster from the beginning, just like the long list of other failed projects by a credit card salesman (Admin building, Bunker Ramp, etc.) and who can forget his terrible negotiation with the railroads allowing them to run even more trains through downtown after handing them $27 million for Federal land we probably already owned. Everything this man touched turned to sh!t, but I could have told you that 8 years ago.