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Push For Downtown Events Center Goes Higher

November 11, 2010, 6:50 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Push For Downtown Events Center Goes Higher
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The group pushing for the new events center to be built downtown took its case to new heights Thursday.
The Build it Downtown group gave rooftop tours from some of the city's tallest buildings to give some perspective on where a new facility could be built. Organizers say that since they began pushing for a downtown plan, the largest criticism they've heard from people is that there's not enough room. So they organized Thursday's event to show that is not the case.

"We're not giving up on the mayor. We're not giving up on the city council and we're gonna work hard to convince the people of Sioux Falls that building an events center is really the best thing," group organizer Steve Hildebrand said.

The group is focused on six locations along the Big Sioux River, in an industrial area along railroad tracks. Hildebrand is one of the main organizers of Build It Downtown and says the current infrastructure can support a building there.

"There's more parking than at the Arena, better in and out access.  It's closer to three interstates than at the arena. There are great reasons to see it here,' Hildebrand said.

He says the other reason is money. With nearby hotels and restaurants in downtown, he says visitors are the ones who will help pay the projected $100 million price tag for the facility through increased tax revenues.

"You'll see that downtown. You won't see that at the Arena. That's why we're so focused on having it downtown because we don't want to pay for it," Hildebrand said. 

Which he says makes a potential downtown location even more appealing.  The city doesn't own any of the properties the group is proposing, Hildebrand points out that the city would also need to buy property for parking if the events center is built near the Sioux Falls Arena.

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