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November 01, 2010 09:47 PM

Events Center Location Could Go To Public Vote

sioux falls, sd


A majority of Sioux Falls voters would like to see a new events center, but the question is where?
The group that would like to see an events center built downtown says those voters may get the final say.

Build it Downtown has grown into an organization of nearly 1,800 members. Downtown store owners are showing signs of support and now the group is looking to them as potential stakeholders. 

"We are looking for those folks to get active with us, to contact members of the city council that they know and have good relationships with along with the mayor," Build It Downtown organizer Steve Hildebrand said.

Sioux Fall Mayor Mike Huether is proposing the new events center be built near the current Arena. And the city is already taking bids from architect and engineering firms to begin the process of designing a new facility.

Even though the downtown group doesn't have a site picked out, it feels a downtown location is best for Sioux Falls. 

"We know for a fact that economic development will be spurred in the downtown area if the events center is here, but if it's at the arena, we won't see any development at all.  We haven't for 50 years," Hildebrand said.

If the city doesn't listen to the downtown group, they say they may put it to a vote.

"As they're considering this $100 million investment, we will continue to look at other options, which could go to the ballot on our own without the mayor doing it," Hildebrand said.

Because Hildebrand says there's too much at stake.

"This is the largest single public investment that the city has ever made and the city better do it right or they shouldn't build it at all," Hildebrand said.
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