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!

The media reported this morning that only one person from the public showed up to the meeting, and Bruce and I were the only ones from the public who showed up tonight (the others were staff, TF members, etc.)

I’m NOT going to harp to much on it, because I think public input is important, and since Bruce and I were the only two there, we were able to give a lot of input. (Video is below, if you want the responses, just pause video since the presenter FF thru them pretty fast).

But a couple of things may have helped the situation.

I would have informed the public better, I never heard any public announcement about the meetings, I heard it from a fellow citizen. Is that the media’s fault? Not sure?

I would have also had all 4 meetings at night, with maybe one during Saturday morning. I would have also had them all in the same place (like the DT Library).

I could say some other things about the presentation itself, but you can watch that later and be your own judge. But two things that stuck out were too many questions about parking difficulties and this notion that somehow magically we could move the entire campus somewhere else, like DT. As Bruce pointed out, too late, and not relevant. It is where it is.

The cookies were good.

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?!