Outgoing Mayor Mike Huether announced today plans for the city to build a second Event Center after finding an untapped supply of city funds. “I believe a second event center will complement the Sanford Premier Center quite nicely, and I believe our city is ready for such a facility.”
Sioux Falls has had to temper some of its development plans in the past year as budget surpluses have dried up. Faced with a $300 million-dollar budget deficit, Huether remains undeterred about expanding development. “These grand visions are what draws people into our city. Without the plans, Sioux Falls is going to lose out to surrounding communities.”
But some think this fear of losing population to the likes of Humboldt, Baltic and Colton are unwarranted. Others still are critical of the mayor using funds on large projects rather than more practical means.
“Why not give teachers a pay raise? Why not finish projects already on the books, like the River Greenway?” asked local Sioux Falls resident Ronald G. Krump. “It seems like these new funds could be better spent elsewhere.”
While not finalized, the new Event Center would be located just north of the Sioux Falls Stadium. It would use the existing parking in the area and share with the Stadium, the Arena, the Convention Center and Howard Wood Field. “I think we can really save on cost if we utilize the existing facilities we have in the area,” Huether noted. “The goal is to spur further development in the area, perhaps even another Buffalo Wild Wings. Imagine the flurry of activity if you have events going on at all six facilities at once!”
City planners were hesitant to say how the entertainment complex could handle the parking load. If existing parking could not handle demand of all the facilities, one proposal would be to fill in Covell Lake and turn it into a parking lot. The parking lot proposal is still in the initial phases. Residents of the Cathedral District are encouraged to voice their opinions at a public hearing scheduled for April 15th, 2018.
The mayor also hinted that his development plans for the city were not finished with this second event center. A second indoor aquatic center, and a third city administrative building were all on his to-do checklist before he leaves office on May 15th.
Incoming Mayor Paul TenHaken could not immediately be reached for comment
The Sioux Falls Headliner