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Group Rallies Downtown Events Center Support

September 13, 2010, 5:51 PM by Nicole Winters

Group Rallies Downtown Events Center Support
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The City Council hasn't even voted yet, and already there's talk of moving the events center downtown. One group of people is even trying to rally support on Facebook.

Downtowns are often filled with culture and history, and many are even considered the heart of the city.

"Any great city in this country has a strong downtown, and Sioux Falls is a great city and we've seen downtown become such a wonderful place," Steve Hildebrand said.

Long-time resident Steve Hildebrand wants to see downtown Sioux Falls continue to grow and prosper. He thinks the way for that to happen is to building an events center in downtown. He, along with several others, are rallying support for the idea through a Facebook group called 'Sioux Falls Downtown Events Center'.  In just ten days, the group has grown to 315 members and received plenty of feedback.

"I think there is tremendous enthusiasm to build this downtown and we should fully explore that," Hildebrand said.

Downtown businesses like The Market agree with Hildebrand and say they could really benefit from the added traffic in downtown.

"I think it would help all of the businesses down here as far as having the more people that are exposed to the downtown area," Laurel Lather with The Market said.

Hildebrand says that won't happen if the events center is built on the edge of town. 

"I think it would be a 60-year mistake if we located it out near the Arena where there's not a level of interest.  You don't want people leaving after an event; you want them to spend additional dollars within your city," Hildebrand said.

Dollars that are needed to keep the city's pulse beating and its businesses growing. 

"If we don't have a thriving downtown, Sioux Falls is never going to be any bigger or better than we are now," Lather said.

Hildebrand isn't proposing a specific location in downtown, saying there are a few different spots to choose from. Lather says she would like to see an events center in downtown, but says she's still for it even if it's built somewhere else.

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