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Consultants Have Looked At Events Center Before

May 5, 2004, 5:00 PM by Anna Peters


Sioux Falls is in the midst of a quarter million dollar study to plan for new events and recreations centers. And, it could result in the city's most expensive endeavor ever. But, it's not the first time the city has brought in a consultant to look at the concept.

In 2000, some city leaders decided to look at the future of the arena and Sioux Falls' sports and entertainment.

Mike Cooper, Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation: "The city of Sioux Falls got together with Forward Sioux Falls and hired a Convention Sports and Leisure consulting firm out of Minneapolis to help us analyze what the future needs of the city would be."
 
The study resulted in two recommendations. It was time to start planning for a bigger arena and a recreation center. But the study didn't go into details of what or where the city should build.

Cooper: "It said that we should really look at two separate facilities within a 3 to 5 year time frame."

In 2002, the city hired another consultant and put together a task force to come up with a plan for a new rec center. By spring of 2003, they decided the best place for that rec center would be at Nelson Park at 10th and Cliff.

Cooper: "The result of that was a recommendation of what a multi purpose rec center would look like, what type of activities it would include."

The fourteen-million dollar plans include indoor soccer fields, hockey rinks and a new swimming pool. Now, a new task force will look at both past studies. And it's possible plans similar to this could be a reality as soon as 2008.

Dave Munson, Sioux Falls Mayor: "If everybody agrees to this and everybody wants to do it and we have the funding package all put together, then in 2006 we'd look at construction. In 2008 we'd be open."

Together, the first two studies cost about eighty-thousand dollars. The city only paid for a third of that. The current study is expected to cost about a quarter million dollars. Once they come up with specifics, the plan will go before the city council. It could end up in a public vote. Depending on what the task force decides to build, all together the project could cost as much as 100 million dollars.


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