Entries Tagged 'Denny Sanford Premier Center' ↓

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.

What’s going on with the Events Center area task force recommendations?

The Loneliest place in Sioux Falls

I got a reminder today about the desolation of the area around the Denty when a restaurant chain nearby decided to close that location for good, citing prior to Covid things were not so hot;

But “even before COVID, some of the events in the arena had decreased from the prior heyday when it first opened up,” he said of the also nearby Denny Sanford Premier Center, which opened in 2014.

I have noticed that the city has put a lot of things on hold because of Covid, or should we say using Covid as an excuse. I think with having Covid closing down things it would have been a perfect opportunity to bulldoze Sioux Falls stadium and renovate or tear down the Arena. I have also noticed that this administration, even before Covid, doesn’t do much with recommendations unless they are something they want, like 5G.

The mayor either has his agenda or no agenda at all. I guess he can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

Events Center Complex loses $2.5 million in past year

Of course, it was no surprise they lost this much, it was just a little unusual we heard it at a SF City Council informational meeting from the finance director. The complex (EC, CC and Arena) was probably expected to lose money during Covid, but as I have mentioned over the past few days and weeks, the Denty hasn’t exactly been that stellar in attendance for well over a year and trust me, the bleeding of the complex will continue well into 2021.

What was not included in the discussion is the $10 million a year bond payment the taxpayers will continue to have to pay out of our 2nd penny (which should be spent on needed infrastructure and roads). We will also have to keep the lights and heat on as well and timely maintenance while the city’s finance director has given sponsors a pass on paying their dues.

While the management company has said they laid off many people, what they didn’t mention is if the executives took a pay cut? I mean really? What are you doing right now? I can only imagine they have all built George Costanza beds under their desks. Why not just furlough the entire management company until we can start booking shows again? Why are the taxpayers subsidizing these salaries?

The Washington Pavilion, as I understand, cut 25% of their workforce, for that very reason, if you have no shows, you don’t need people to work them.

As I said, the Denty was already bleeding, and this place will eventually become the dented up yolk around taxpayers necks for decades. I don’t expect the place to turn a profit again for at least 5 years, but that’s okay, we can keep digging into the taxpayer’s pockets even though almost 50% voted against it.

Former Sioux Falls Mayor Got SH*T Done?

I remember when Bucktooth and Bowlcut was walking out the door, it seemed the last 100 days of his administration we were reminded of all the ‘S**T’ he got accomplished (not my words, his). But only a little over 2 years later, let’s look at those supposed accomplishments;

Railroad Redevelopment. While this hasn’t totally flopped (there are a few projects and apartments being built in the area, after developer friendly deals were cut at taxpayer expense) The major developments flopped due to issues with engineering and bedrock. I actually don’t see this development ever coming to fruition for at least 20 years. It was touted as his greatest accomplishment but really was just a massive waste of Federal tax money that never solved the rail traffic issues downtown. They continue to store rail cars downtown less than a few blocks away. And to add insult to injury, we are spending millions for an overpass on 26th street so the trains can continue to march through downtown.

Events Center. Besides the possible impending doom if Mr. S gets brought up on criminal charges, the Denty has been nothing but a complete failure only 5 short years after it opened. Not just the major screw job on the cheap siding and many other issues with the building, sponsorships have continued to fall and attendance is at near zilch. And that’s not just because of Covid. Last year several businesses in the area complained that there was little activity at the place. Besides the rusted up tin can looking like a total waste, taxpayers are stuck with propping up this place with around a $10 million dollar a year mortgage payment while a majority of the profits go straight out of town. We didn’t need a new Events Center, and I think citizens will come to that realization within the next few years.

City Administration Building. Besides the fact we didn’t need this place, it has had issues from day one. The HVAC that clearly got screwed up by the CMAR had to be replaced at taxpayer’s expense, with still no word from the city attorney’s office if we will get reimbursed (likely not). When we decided to gift the other city building for the TRIAGE center, it proved that we didn’t really need another city office building. This was just another developer handout because of some backdoor promises MMM made .

Indoor Aquatic Center. I haven’t been in the place since it opened, but what I have been hearing from peeps in the neighborhood, it is turning into a real wasteland. There has been issues with the windows, leaks in the pool and extensive rusting. And that’s just the little things. There has also been multiple complaints about customer service and the horrible locker rooms. Attendance was also down before COVID hit and our subsidies grow every year. Now I wasn’t opposed to an indoor public pool, but I think we should have done it with a partnership with Sanford Sports Complex and built the pool out there. So not a total failure, but wrong place and wrong deal. I suspect it will become VA property within 10 years.

Bunker Ramp. This is the disaster that keeps giving. After MMM & Mini-Mike Darrin Smith screwed up the initial development, they marched forward with the guys that were associated with the Copper Lounge collapse LLC debacle. Even though many in the public and in the developer world told them it was a bad idea to get involved with these folks, a majority of the council pushed forward. Then when Mayor Stoneless rolled in, he also passed on the opportunity to kill it (contrary to what many believe, Paul and the council could have stopped the project and paid a bond funding fine, which could have been around $1 million, but saving us about $25 million). Not only did the past mayor and council fail to stop one of the biggest dupes on the public, the current administration continues to bungle with this project. Recently they decided to sell two flat surface parking lots (I’m guessing to push those parking tenants to the ramps). The worst part is that neither the current mayor or past mayor and councils apologized for this massive f’up. That  building will always be a stark final reminder of MMM’s legacy of a multitude of failures.

He did have one success during his administration. He supported and endorsed Snowgates, even though he could not get it passed through the idiots on the council at the time. It took a petition drive by Stehly to get this service. So in a sense, he failed at snowgates also.

When I hear rumors about a possible run for mayor again in 2022, I look at the above screwups and wonder how he even thinks he has a snowball chance in Hell of ever serving in public office again? If I was MMM, I would just plan on spending more time at my trailer house in Wessington Springs.

Sioux Falls needs to stop putting our philanthropic eggs in one basket

As we have heard since Friday, there are many more chapters to be written about the investigation into Denny Sanford. At this point, we really don’t know what will happen. But one thing is clear, and something I have been concerned about for a very long time, depending on one big donor in our community to sponsor almost everything has put us in quite the pickle. We need to spread it around more.

Let’s face it, even if this wasn’t currently going on, we have already sold our souls to one person. Drive around this town, how many things have Denny’s name written all over it? Even if Denny would have made his money curing Cancer, would it still make it right? I have often argued we need to spread the philanthropy around. Recently we saw that with the Triage Center and the Kirby Dog Park. To that, I say bravo.

Even if Denny gets out of this unscathed, we can’t go back. It will cost the hospital and the taxpayers of this community millions to erase his name from our town. It will have economic impacts, political impacts, reputation and business impacts, city budget repercussions and many more things if he is indicted. We must prepare NOW for things to come.

In this letter from CEO of Sanford Health, something stuck out to me;

Like you, I’m deeply concerned about these reports.

Yah think Kelby!? This tells me that those on the top probably know how deep this investigation goes. To put out a letter like this before any indictments should all make us step back and think a little bit.

I knew there was going to come a day of reckoning in our community because we put all our eggs in one basket when it comes to charitable giving. Hopefully we learn from this, because it will end up costing us a lot of dough.

And if the sign on the Denty needs to be removed, may I suggest a name I had from the beginning, The Citizen’s Center, why not name it after the folks who are paying the mortgage on this dented up tin can?