On Sunday, the Minnesota Timberwolves exhibition game at the Sioux Falls Arena was the first big event for the Arena's new general manager. Terry Torkildson took over last month and he says adjusting to the job is easy, but he wouldn't mind having more space in the future.
Terry Torkildson has worked at Sioux Falls Arena off and on for ten years. But he's still getting used to his new title of general manager.
"The biggest thing now is getting to know the promoters as a general manager as opposed to an assistant general manager," Torkildson said. "It was more of a working relationship to get things going down the same path, whereas now, it's a business relationship where you both want to get the most for your facility or company."
But other than forming new relationships, Torkildson says he was fortunate enough to learn a lot from his predecessor, the late Russ DeCurtins.
"In most buildings, when a general manager comes in, they're brand new, they haven't had a lot of experience, they've come from a different building," Torkildson said. "This is a unique situation where he and I had worked together for so long and done so much together side-by-side that it was a very smooth transition."
And while he's prepared for the job, Torkildson admits he'd like to have more to work with, and that his job would be a lot easier with more seats at a new Events Center.
"It's one of our biggest handicaps, when we have Sioux City on one side, Fargo on the other, even Mankato, and to a lesser extent, Omaha, as competiton, it always makes a huge difference when someone can stop in Sioux City and sell 2,000 to 3,000 more seats," Torkildson said.
The Arena is still viable for many events. But if the city wants an even busier schedule, Torkildson says a new building is a must.
"We do 141 events a year," Torkildson said. "And last year, that was as many as Fargo and Sioux City approximately combined. So, it's an extremely busy building and it's served its purpose. And quite honestly, soon it's going to be worn out."
Torkildson says a new events center would also provide newer amenities, which could lower operating costs.