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Out-Of-Towners Talk Events Center

November 18, 2011, 9:57 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Out-Of-Towners Talk Events Center
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The South Dakota State Volleyball tournament brings hundreds of athletes and their families to Sioux Falls. Right now they're using the arena, but a new events center could provide a new stage for the game, and each ticket sold is like a single grade on a report card to Sioux Falls voters. 

It guages what the rest of the state thinks about the city's 12,000 seat decision.

"I heard that. It kind of made the headlines in our paper also," Sharon Shook, who drove with her brother to Sioux Falls from Sioux City, said. 

Very few people in the crowd voted in the special election, but they have a say because they'll use the new events center too. So we asked them, "Did voters make the right decision?"

"Yes. Definitely," Kristi Slater, who drove from Mobridge for the championships, said. 

Slater's main goal is to cheer on her daughter and the Tiger volleyball team. But the family will do much more than that this weekend.

"We have great shopping in our local towns which we always like to support. But when we get to go to big malls and stuff, it's a treat," Slater said. 

That treat generates sales tax revenue that drives the Sioux Falls economy. The money will also pay for $115 million building planned just a few hundred yards away.

"Having everything centrally located is a great idea. We certainly need a better place to hold these events," Sioux Falls resident Ken Hoyne said. 

Hoyne was the only local we talked with. He voted for the new building, and believes it will help draw more people to town for more events.

"Sioux City somewhat does the same thing. They kept the old auditorium and the events center brings a lot of people in," Shook said.

But no one knows yet what it means for Sioux Falls. It's a test the city won't have to pass until the events center opens in 2014

"It will. It will. It might take awhile, but it will," Shook said. 

Voters approved the new facility by a margin of 58 percent to 42 percent. The city is now in the planning phase and working out the $170 million financing plan including interest.

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