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SF Residents Mixed On Events Center

October 5, 2010, 4:58 PM by David Brown

SF Residents Mixed On Events Center
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Mayor Mike Huether knows what he wants.  But now, he has to convince Sioux Falls voters to support his events center plan.

That could take some convincing.  The response around town isn't exactly a solid foundation on which Huether can build support. The new 12,000 seat events center would be attached to the Sioux Falls Convention Center and Arena, cost just under $100 million and be paid for without new taxes. Yet just 24 hours later, the plan is getting a strong response. People we talked with are split over whether the proposal makes sense.

Along with a hot meal and a cool drink, you'll find plenty of opinions at Rookies Sports Bar and Grill, especially when it comes to a Sioux Falls Events Center. 

"I think it should be made where it's at," Sioux Falls resident Jean James said. "There's plenty of parking and it's just a nice area."

"I think they need to buy a piece of property at I-229 and I-90 and I think they need to develop that part," Sioux Falls resident Byron Hochstatter said. "It would bring new motels into that area and it would bring new business into that area."

Location is just one of the things people in Sioux Falls can't seem to agree on.  And what they do like comes with a certain amount of skepticism.

"I understand that we're not supposed to have taxes raised or anything like that," Hochstatter said. "But it really needs to be done the way it should be done so that it's feasible 15 years down the road so we're not doing this again 15 years down the road."

Hochstatter wants the city to move forward. He's tired of Sioux Falls losing out in both sporting events and concerts to newer, more state-of-the-art arenas.

"People from Sioux City are going to come up here just as well as we go down to Sioux City for their events," Hochstatter said. "And that's what you're looking to do with this whole deal. You're looking to draw people from Rapid City, from Pierre, you know, you're looking from all over."

"I think it would be a nice change," James said. "The more people, the better. It would bring a lot to Sioux Falls. We could have bigger concerts instead of going out of town."

But when it comes to the specifics, Hochstatter wishes the Mayor would've taken more time to establish solid ground.

"I think there needs to be more research behind it," Hochstatter said. "I think they need to have a game plan in mind for the events center itself, which I don't think they totally got."

One thing people we talked with did agree on is that they're glad the location isn't downtown because they believe it would cause traffic problems. But there are also a lot of people who disagree with that assessment as well.  So, it seems there won't be a consensus anytime soon.

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