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Huether Unveils $100 Million Events Center Plan

September 9, 2010, 5:50 PM by Don Jorgensen

Huether Unveils $100 Million Events Center Plan
SIOUX FALLS, SD - It's been talked about before, but now Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether says he has a plan to build an events center and without raising taxes.  Huether revealed new details about his four-point plan to KELOLAND News Thursday and says it's less complicated than previous ideas.

First, it would be built near the Arena and Convention Center, seat 12,000 people and cost $100 million.

The city would make a $15 million down payment, $25 million would come from private donations and the remaining $60 million would be borrowed.  But first he has to sell the idea to the city council and convince members to spend a half million dollars to study his plan.

The Event Center design would be similar to one put together by a task force that studied the idea a year ago.

But unlike that plan, Huether says his won't raises sales taxes to help pay for it. 

"There was talk of taxing those who could least afford it as well as increasing taxes at a time when taxes are not very popular," Huether said.

Huether says if Sioux Falls wants an events center, it'll have to be a public-private partnership and then borrow $60 million. 

"Our debt service level is so unbelievably strong, we have such a minimal amount of debt in our city thanks to our fore fathers before me, we can handle $60 million in bonds with no issues," Huether said.

Huether also says Howard Wood Field wouldn't be torn down or relocated, something the task force had recommended.

He also wants to take out five of the 11 ball fields at McCart Park in order to build 1,000 parking spaces. 

"If we needed to create more ball fields, we can do that elsewhere and still meet the need of this growing community," Huether said.

But now he needs the city council's approval to move forward.

"The majority of the people in Sioux Falls went a new event center and I believe strongly a majority of the city council wants a new events center built," Huether said.

The city council will vote on whether to spend half a million dollars to study his plan at Monday night's meeting.

To hear more from Huether about his events center plan, click the play button on the video player below.


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