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November 14, 2010 10:36 PM

SF Mayor Reacts To Possible Downtown Locations

Sioux Falls, SD

The mayor of Sioux Falls says the latest efforts by the downtown group to show off possible Events Center locations don't add anything new to the discussion.

Since talk of a new events center first started, people in favor of a facility have clashed regarding where the city should build it.  Mayor Mike Huether wants it at the Arena site, but this week, people pushing for a downtown location pointed to places they'd like to see it.

But the mayor says that approach isn't helping plans move forward, and the real focus is getting lost in the shuffle.

From atop some of Sioux Falls' highest buildings, Build It Downtown showed off six possible locations for a new Events Center on Thursday. But the impressive view didn't impress the city's leader.

"It didn't indicate much," Mayor Huether said. "The sites that they showed as sites we all know about."

"I can't just stand on a building and say look at all the places that I think may work.  We have to really put some real concreteness to this, some real facts, and some real meat on the bone."

Meanwhile, a different group has emerged in the Events Center fray called "Build It Everywhere," whose Facebook page indicates they're not "anti-events center," but would like to see multiple community improvements.

"Don't worry 'Build It Everywhere' group, I am your captain," Mayor Huether said.  "I will ensure we have a good balance, that we repair, replace and rebuild the infrastructure of this town while also capturing the opportunities such as a new Events Center and so much more."

Mayor Huether says regardless of how many groups and requests may be out there, he believes the reality of the Events Center situation is based on economics.

"The important thing isn't so much the location," Mayor Huether said. "The important thing is getting it built. That is what's going to drive your economic development dollars. That's what's going to drive your commercial development dollars. The opportunity costs you lose by not building it can be quite overwhelming."

The Mayor says over the next month, the city will conduct interviews with different development and architectural firms. They hope to select a firm by mid-December.

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