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Some Solidarity On The Events Center

February 14, 2011, 6:11 PM by David Brown

Some Solidarity On The Events Center
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether provided new details about the proposed Events Center Monday afternoon, including some solidarity on the highly-debated Arena vs. downtown building sites.

Cost and time were the biggest issues surrounding the Events Center at last month's update.  The Mayor said the city was about 11 days behind in signing contracts and may need up to $500,000 for additional expenses. But the city has since picked a construction manager and an economic impact analyst since then, which the Mayor says is tremendous progress.

Some dates may have shifted, but now with an architectural firm and a construction manager on board, the foundation for an Events Center appears to be more concrete. 

"I can't think of an events center that's failing right now or isn't working right now," Dan Mehls with Mortenson Construction said. "They're all working and successful at various levels. And it's not just about how many tickets you sell, but what it does for the whole economy in the region."

Today Mortenson Construction listed and shared examples of various stadiums and arenas they've worked on with different purposes.

"When you have an Events Center as this one is proposed, it has multiple sports and events that have to get in and out on a regular basis," Mehls said. "And so, we do need to design the building so it's at its maximum flexibility."

But perhaps Mortenson's biggest role to date is helping with the ongoing debate over where to build the venue. The city says Mortenson will help pick a specific downtown site for a side-by-side study with the Arena location.

"The goal of that is to actually establish that by the end of February," Sioux Falls Director of Public Works Mark Cotter said.

Mayor Huether says he knows there are going to be arguments about the Events Center for months to come. But he pointed to a letter about a construction manager who did not get selected as proof everyone is willing work toward the bigger goal. 

"At some point in time, with a project of this magnitude, there's going to be disagreement," Huether said. "If we ultimately want this to succeed, we need to find that common ground."

Mayor Huether says the goal is still to conduct an economic analysis between the Arena site and downtown site by the end of April.

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