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February 16, 2017 10:17 PM

Setting The Stage For The Future

Sioux Falls

The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center is entering its third year with big success behind it. The facility has attracted music legends including Elton John and Paul McCartney, and in both 2015 and '16, it hosted 11 sold-out events each.

The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center is making noise in the entertainment industry. 

"We've caught people's attention because we do sell tickets so well," Denny Sanford PREMIER Center General Manager Terry Torkildson said. 

The venue has many sold-out events to its name and it finished last year at number 88 in Pollstar Magazine's Top 200 venues in the world, a ranking based on touring ticket sales for acts. 

General Manager Terry Torkildson admits that the initial level of activity comes as a bit of a surprise. 

"Especially our first year. Coming out of the blocks, you always have a honeymoon period, but to have the concerts that we did compared to the economic impact analysis that was done was amazing. We were predicted to do 12 a year and did almost 20 in our first year and followed suit with that again last year," Torkildson said. 

Only, that's all in the past. Now the question becomes, 'Can that success continue?' 

Torkildson is optimistic the PREMIER Center can keep posting strong results, pointing to other venues that are bringing in big names after several years of operation. 

"BOK Center in Tulsa was named one of the top buildings of the year in one of our trade magazines recently. They've been open six years now and they continue to do every show out there," Torkildson said. 

However, he adds a venue like the PREMIER Center is at the mercy of what's happening in the entertainment industry. 

"So much of it is dependent on what's touring, how they're touring, how they're routing, what we have going on," Torkildson said. 

"We really believe that we can continue this," Schmidt said.  

Terri Schmidt with Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau has high hopes for the venue's future. Still, she says, part of staying ahead of the curve is remaining competitive with area markets. 

"The demands in the industry are growing everyday because people know if they don't come to one city, they can go down the road and get it at that city," Schmidt said. 

The responsibility extends well beyond a single venue. 

"It takes everyone working together to bring the convention, bring the event, get the hotel rooms, make sure there are places to eat, get the transportation in order. So, it's a big package done by a lot of people," Schmidt said. 

The PREMIER Center's part of the package? Bringing more and more fans to Sioux Falls. 

"A lot of it has to do with how the consumer reacts to events. It's the ticket sales. It's that bottom line. Making money is what the promoters are here to do so if we continue to sell tickets they'll continue to bring shows," Torkildson said. 

That's how this venue is setting the stage for even more big business in the years to come. 

The PREMIER center has some big names on the docket for this year. Dierks Bentley plays this Sunday, and Faith Hill and Tim McGraw make a tour stop in Sioux Falls in June. 
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