Entries Tagged 'Event Center' ↓

The Survey Says! The EC Campus Book Club releases survey

Whoa . . . Detroit Lewis was almost 2 for 2 today in his predictions, but I still need a little more information.

First, lets go over what the survey said and how it was conducted;

There were more than 2,000 responses submitted over the two-week period of the survey, which surpassed the goal of the project. Lawrence & Schiller analyzed 640 responses to generate its statistically significant data.

First off, I find it interesting that Jodi had the lead on this story. Did the city or L & S pay her to put up this data? Not sure, but interesting move. The irony is I recently told a city official the only two people who have the historical knowledge of city government over the past decade is Jodi and me.

The above numbers are important. As a person who has looked at voter data in Sioux Falls and who votes in city elections, I’m guessing the magic number of ‘640’ wasn’t pulled from the survey taker’s butts. I can safely assume these are almost 100% registered voters. But the data might have also been whittled down into other categories like who most likely always votes in Sioux Falls elections, or special elections like the Events Center election (which of course wasn’t a legal bond election, but an advisory vote). I can guarantee these 640 special people were carefully selected.

So let’s move onto the data;

• Only 17% wanted to save the Arena. I actually thought that number was kind of high 🙂

• 54% wanted to see SF Stadium demolished, but only 12% wanted to NOT rebuild. I find this interesting because I still don’t find the value of keeping the stadium or rebuilding. I guess I don’t have a problem with rebuilding, but it has to be done with private money. But it needs to be demolished.

And then there is the ‘DUH’ factor;

Respondents also recognize the need to integrate more retail and dining to the campus to make it a more well-rounded experience.

This is the main reason why several city leaders and business persons did NOT want to build the EC in that area, and now we are paying for it and will continue to pay for it for decades.

Statema said the survey backed up many of the ideas the committee had discussed on campus development.

“It put into context some of our assumptions and highlights some things we weren’t thinking about,” Statema said. “It helped affirm the directions that we are going in.”

Of course it did. When you use a private marketing company who whittled away two-thirds of the respondents you can manipulate the results very easily. I really don’t believe the voting public as a whole support rebuilding a new stadium, especially using tax dollars to do it (but private money, sure).

So now for my prediction. As I mentioned recently I think the reason the survey wants registered voters is because the EC Campus Book Club is going to present one heck of a BHAG. I think they are going to recommend tearing down the stadium (with plans to build elsewhere in the future). I think they will use the space for a major retail center/hotel which will be a private/public partnership with tons of tax incentives.

They will either reformat the Arena or level it for more convention space. Either way, this has been a long time coming and no surprise.

My guess is that these ‘changes’ will have an initial cost of around $50 million. That means there will probably be a bond vote of the public (Mayor TenHaken has mentioned that he would probably bring it to a vote of the people).

This is why the survey respondents were probably selected based on if they are voters and what elections they have voted in. I would love to see the blender L & S used to come up with the magical 640, but I’m guessing I would never be invited to that smoothie party.

*It is also interesting to point out that when L & S presented these results they showed pictures of the debacle parking ramp DT and mentioned that the Arena and SF Stadium both lose $614K a year. When asked about these stats, the L & S rep said, “Oh, that’ a typo.” Didn’t someone from the administration proof read this report?! 

Events Center Campus Book Club to meet Wednesday

Wednesday JUNE 26, 8:30 am at the Convention Center, Meeting Rooms 8-10.

I wonder if this meeting will also be very brief since they seem to be making decisions in sub meetings.

Does the City have ‘Big Plans’ for Events Center Campus?

There has already been talk that the plans proposed for the EC campus could be so big that the changes would have to be voted on by the public, in other words potential bonding.

So what would that include?

Recently I have been intrigued by the fact that the latest data mining EC survey online has been asking people for personal information like voter registration status. It got me thinking that perhaps they want this data to use in a campaign if the changes go to voters for the campus, changes that could include significant changes to the campus in the form of a massive public/private partnership that could cost well over $25-50 million dollars. That could be a retail complex with a hotel attached that could sit on the land where the SF Stadium is now if demolished. But I have NO idea what it could be.

With a survey out there collecting voter data, that tells me they are gearing up for some kind of major campaign and major changes to the campus. Pure speculation at this point, but worth some thought.

Is the Events Center Campus Book Club skirting transparency?

The first two meetings were several hours long with Bruce’s camera present. A foot soldier attended the 3rd meeting yesterday, it was a whopping 25 minutes long. This person got the feeling that the group is now meeting in sub-committees privately to avoid being transparent in the bigger picture. It will be interesting to see their final decisions come out of nowhere with no prior discussion (at least one out in open).

It seems the more we scream for transparency, the more they go underground.

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.

Events Center Campus Book Club Meeting • 4/24/19

UPDATE: Events Center Campus Book Club meeting • 8:30 AM, Wednesday

UPDATE: I guess the meeting this morning went for about 4 hours. CityLink and Cameraman Bruce were there to film it. It also looks like the city took my advice and started posting meetings to YouTube.

I guess the meeting was a ‘Me, Me, Me’ fest in which potential investors of the area were wondering what the city (taxpayers) were going to give them to incentivize them to develop there. Should have never built the Convention Center or EC there. Dumbest decision ever.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Convention Center

8:30 AM

Open Government is paramount, because it is OUR money

We all know the truth, Mayor TenHaken and his staff were forced to open up the Events Center Campus Book Club meetings because councilors Starr and Stehly are sticklers about open government. God Bless Them!

So in a ‘sour grapes’ move I’ve been hearing they had their first ‘Open Meeting’ in the crowded old commission chambers instead of Carnegie. They supplied about 2 chairs for the public for a 3 hour meeting. Staff was rude, and several city employees were burning up the time clock ‘hanging out’ in the meeting.

This is NOT open government, this is obstinance.

Many people in government, conservative, liberal or whackadoodle don’t believe government should be open. They think things get done ‘faster’ when we shut r’ down. While this may be true, it usually doesn’t turn out well for the public. It has been proven time and time again open government prevents fraud, corruption and saves taxpayers money, but all those arguments aside, only one thing matters; We OWN this government, we have a right to see what is going on, it is OUR money.

I have told people if Sioux Falls city government sided on openness I wouldn’t have to have a blog. The fight gets tiresome sometime, because it’s always the tired old predictable things that happen under closed government.

Why must we fight for something so hard that is so easy? You promised transparency Mayor TenHaken, NOW is the time to deliver.

So who is lying about the openness of the Events Center Campus Book Club?

The ‘Painless’ Meeting in Public

We watched as this all played out. The meetings were going to remain closed, the TenHaken administration was digging in their heels. Then councilors Starr and Stehly bring a resolution forward opening the meetings. All of sudden the Task Force was claiming they decided they were going to open them up all on their own according to some secret vote, in a secret meeting and informed the Mayor in a secret email (to this day no one has seen);

An email from the event center group’s co-chairs Dan Statema and Jeff Eckhoff to Mayor Paul TenHaken said that the group had voted at their first meeting on Feb. 27 to allow the public and media to attend the rest of the meetings.

“We see no harm in having interested parties gain the same education we are as we progress through this process,” the email read.

Now fast forward today to the first open meeting. Deputy COS TJ Typeover tells those TV folks this;

“Pat Starr and I brought forth a resolution when we found out these meetings were going to be closed to the public and the resolution requested that they open the meeting and as a result of that the meetings have been opened,” says Stehly.

“After the first meeting they talked in between that meeting and this meeting and decided to open these up to the public,” says Nelson.

So which is it TJ? Did they vote on it? Did they decide later? My guess is both stories are TOTAL BS. You and the Mayor decided to open these meetings up after pressure from Starr and Stehly. Just admit it. Because just lying about it makes you look even more foolish, and certainly NOT transparent.