Rapid City, SD
The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City is undergoing a huge transformation to become rodeo-ready.
"The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo is a whole different beast unto itself. It's a lot more work and it's not something that you do in a day," Rushmore Plaza General Manager Brian Maliske said.
The Civic Center began the conversion on Saturday night after its last event. Since then, 118 semi-truck loads of dirt have been brought in to cover the floor of the Don Barnett Arena with a minimum of 12 inches along with enough pens for more than 1,000 animals.
"When you look at everything, it just overwhelms you. But when everybody just does their part of the show it just comes off without a hitch," Maliske said.
"The first year I was a total wreck," Rushmore Plaza Maintenance Manager Steve Brugad said.
But this isn't Brugad's first rodeo; he's been at it for more than two decades.
"This is my 24th year, I believe, so it becomes pretty natural for me to do it anymore," Brugad said.
About 1,500 animals will be through the facility over the course of the ten-day stock show and rodeo. But that pales in comparison to number of spectators that they'll entertain.
"Based on what we've seen in the prior years, we'll have more than 250,000 bodies coming through the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center over the ten-day run," Maliske said.
All those people bring millions of dollars to Rapid City's economy. But the event wouldn't be possible without the work going on right now.
"Everybody has to work. And it takes everybody, not just a few individuals, it takes everybody to pull this off," Brugad said.
The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo also draws more than 400 vendors from all across North America.
To check the progress at the Civic Center, click here to check out a webcam in the arena.
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