Entries Tagged 'Denny Sanford Premier Center' ↓

We should have gotten this warranty with the Events Center siding

How ironic reading this story today when I just mentioned to a city councilor yesterday, “If you think the roof repair is expensive for the Pavilion, wait until we have to replace the siding on the EC, it will cost at least $15 million.”

The black zinc panels that form the exterior of U.S. Bank Stadium leak more than previously revealed and must all be replaced at a cost of $21 million over the next two years. The costs will be split among the building’s general contractor, Golden Valley-based M.A. Mortenson Co., and seven others.

We should have never let them weasel out of fixing the siding, they should have fixed it when we had the opportunity. The difference though between the Denty and the Bank Stadium is we know someone pretty high up on the food chain signed off the crappy siding job to ‘save money’. I’ll give you one guess. Our savings will go straight out the door when we have to tear it all off and replace if(probably within 5-10 years). And we still don’t know if there is water damage underneath. And guess who will be paying for that fix? You and me kids.

Events Center has lost it’s luster as I predicted

But guess what, we are stuck with the beautiful $10 Million dollar mortgage for the next 15 years;

Recently, however, there are signs that the venue’s initial luster has faded. The Premier Center is more profitable than ever, but ticket sales and attendance have failed to match the Garth Brooks-fueled bump of 2017. Along with turnover in management, there have been fewer sellouts, and a smaller portion of the acts coming to town are the big names blowing up box offices in other markets.

It’s a different market out there, not to mention the Denty has just been a money vacuum from day one;

City staff declined a request to interview Mayor Paul TenHaken for this story. 

I found this very odd since PTH has nothing to do with booking acts at the Denty. He is also not responsible for selling the white elephant to us. I can tell you why he turned down the interview, because he doesn’t have a clue what is going on out there.

And while it has proven to bring in more revenue (net operating) we never hear what the actual sales are. Why is that? Ticket sales and attendance is also down;

Pollstar ranked the Premier Center as the 84th top performing arena in 2017. But more recently Sioux Falls’ largest facility fell to 125th in 2018 and 136th in 2019.

Tickets sold also plummeted, according to Pollstar. Those fell from 239,089 in 2017 to 117,411 last year.

In 2019, just 43 percent, or nine out of the 21 concerts that performed at the facility, were ranked in Pollstar’s Top 100 worldwide acts ranking, which is based on ticket revenue a band or artist brings in. In 2018, 53 percent of Premier Center’s music entertainers cracked that list and in 2017, the last full year that Semrau did the booking, 72 percent of the 22 concerts were among Pollstar’s top-ranked acts.

Then Terry ‘left’;

Not long after, Torkildson himself left the Premier Center, though his departure came after being let go by ASM when it was still SMG.

Terry took a job a few months back up North and is already back in Sioux Falls. He promised me once he would give me an ‘off the record’ run down of what happened out there, than told me later he was just bluffing me. But he did tell me the interior walls of the Events Center are thinner than the walls of a Japanese cat house (those are my words, not his). He basically said, don’t lean to hard on them.

When acts return for a second or third time, it’s harder to sell out. People who have budgeted their money for entertainment find it more difficult to spend money on a performer who they’ve already seen live, Opp said.

That line right there explains why the Pavilion really hasn’t increased attendance much over the past 20 years, because they do the same stuff over and over, and still cater to a certain demographic and not the entire city.

The Denty was built for a small window of time, and once that clock runs out, we are still stuck with mortgage payments, maintenance and operating, whether we use it or not. But hey, we can’t afford to trim boulevard trees, because that is a ‘hand out’.

Sioux Falls taxpayers already have to pay to fix ice at the Denty

Remember when former Mayor Bowlcut and Bucktooth bragged to us how perfect the concrete pour was for the ice rink at the Denty? Apparently it was not so great;

The City of Sioux Falls, SD, requests formal bids for DSFP Events Center Building Improvements—Ice Rink Expansion Joint Replacement.

I have heard from several people that the ice rink was NOT done correctly shortly after it opened. Complaints about leaks, etc. Besides the siding, the screwed up cracked flooring and paper thin walls, another short cut to ‘save money’ at the Denty. This will be costing us for years to come.

Sioux Falls City Council financial update reveals some interesting tidbits

I guess I missed the first part of the informational meeting where financial director Mr. Pritchett revealed some interesting things going on. I appreciate Shawn’s honesty.

The first thing he reveals is that Sioux Empire Community Theatre owes SMG or Global, or whatever they are calling themselves these days $74K for past rentals of the Orpheum and that they have an agreement to pay $1,000 a month until it is paid up. What a deal! The Pavilion, which runs the Orpheum now requires the SECT to pay rent for events now with 50% up front.

Then there is the Event Center that actually pulled in less revenue last year, but get this, made a bigger profit (according to Global). I guess when you don’t have to pay anybody (part-timers) to work events (because very few are going on) you make more money. Go figure. I wonder if we mothballed the place we could make even more money!

We also found out why we had to ‘repair’ the HVAC system at the Denty, because it has severely malfunctioned causing leaks in the roof and damage to the ceiling. So now we have the siding and the HVAC system, makes you wonder what other things we cut corners on. A former Denty employee told me once “Don’t lean too hard on the interior walls, you may fall thru.”

Speaking of leaky stuff, the Pavilion is requesting around $6 million to fix the roof and railing on the roof. Where are they getting their bids? Certainly not from Mitchell Roofing 🙂

We also got to hear about the deteriorating Sioux Falls Stadium and what we are going to do with that money pit, but that discussion really didn’t go anywhere – as usual.

Yet we need to charge non-profits who actually bring successful events into Sioux Falls that drive the economy $70 an hour, per officer, for police protection. Go figure. As one of my former co-workers used to say about our boss/owner of the company we worked for, “He’s concerned about pennies as dollars are flying out the window.”

UPDATE: Dave Mathews in Sioux Falls for 3 nights, who knew?

Every year Sanford holds a big party for it’s employees, they usually bring in a well known performer.

UPDATE: Employees had to pay $10 a ticket with a limit of two. It was a fundraiser for Sanford’s Employee Emergency fund. Tickets were available to Sanford employees as well as First Premier, Unity Point and GSS.

This year apparently they brought in Dave Matthews and Grace Potter (which I was told was fantastic). While I am not really a fan anymore (because all his stuff sounds the same) when he first got popular about 20 years ago, I did like some of that early stuff.

But what is disappointing is that Sanford kept this all to themselves. What would have been the harm in selling tickets to a public concert? Could Matthews sell out the Denty? Probably not, but heck, I guarantee he could have sold out the Pavilion.

Once again we see the sword Sanford wields on us. I was at a family event yesterday and one of my second cousins from Yankton asked me, “When is Sioux Falls going to rename itself to Sanford Falls?” It may be sooner then we think.

Is NEW Events Center bag policy about SAFETY or SALES?

A new bag policy goes into affect tonight. While I can’t understand why anyone would want to carry in a bag or purse to a show anyway, I do understand that women like to have makeup and other personal items with them, but I wonder if the policy isn’t about safety (concealed weapons) but about people sneaking in their own beverages and snacks. The last time I paid to go to a show at the EC my ticket was $120 (very good seats) and drinks were about $50. Remember, well over 90% of what you spend at the EC (tickets, food, beverages, etc.) goes straight out of town and doesn’t get circulated in the local economy. I have asked since the place has opened what their yearly sales are and how much of that money stays in Sioux Falls and have yet to get an answer from the city who owns the facility and pays the mortgage and maintenance.

The Denty has very few concerts scheduled over next 5 months

A business operator adjacent to the EC Campus came to one of the public input sessions for EC Campus Book Club and asked why there are so few concerts and events at the Denty this year.

Over the next 5 months there is only 6 concerts scheduled and about a dozen other events.

This building isn’t cheap to operate, with that few of rentals, how can it even break even with sponsorships?

I have also heard that major corners were cut when building the facility. Someone told me that most of the internal walls are only thin sheetrock, in other words if someone pushed you hard enough into the wall, you might go thru. As with the siding, many things will have to be fixed and upgraded here in the near future. This is what happens when you ‘ramrod’ things on the cheap. Thanks Bowlcut!

Events Center Campus Book Club Meets Wednesday

Wednesday, May 22, 8:30 AM

Convention Center, 1201 Northwest Avenue, Mtg. Rooms 8-10

2018 Events Center Finance Report tells us very little

This is quite the spreadsheet for a multi-million dollar business (Full Doc: Denty-2018-Finances)

I have asked since the place has opened what their yearly sales are. If I had to guess, looking at the sales tax paid (3 pennies) it would be around $55 Million. Where does that money go? Straight out of town to artists, promoters and to Ovation’s coffers (they are the concession provider). We get back a whopping $3.7 million in which $2.1 million (the net operating income) goes into a revolving fund the city has in their bank account but that SMG controls.

Am I the only one that has noticed that the economy in Sioux Falls has been staggering ever since the Denty opened? Well, when you send $55 million straight out the door of our community each year, it has an effect and not a good one.

Financial Comparison between Pavilion & DSPC

I found this comparison interesting. I had to use 2017 numbers because the Pavilion usually doesn’t release last year’s financials until June(?).

Just for the record, I’m not trying to dig up dirt, I just found the way the two institutions generate revenue and expenses to be interesting.

One of the most stark differences is expenses.

Click to enlarge graphic