SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — What will the future look like for the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center and the events center campus?
Officials with the City of Sioux Falls are hoping to reform a longtime entertainment board into an events center complex advisory board to help answer those questions. The proposed Events Center Complex Advisory Board would help shape future planning for the events center campus and surrounding areas.
Shawn Pritchett, Director of Finance for Sioux Falls, is presenting city council members with a plan to update a city ordinance with a new 15-member advisory board (11 voting members and 4 nonvoting ex-officio members).
Pritchett said the Events Center Complex Advisory Board would replace the Arena/Convention/Entertainment Board, which predated the PREMIER Center and professional management of events centers. City officials worked with members of the existing board for three months to discuss if the board should continue to exist or how best to change the direction.
“The role of the board is more focused on strategic vision for the future of the events center campus,” said Pritchett, adding the new advisory board could build off the work from the 2019 Events Campus Study Group.
That study was tasked with a 2040 vision and suggested ideas of tearing down the Arena to add additional square feet for convention center space. The group also saw benefits to tearing down Sioux Falls Stadium, the baseball stadium home to the Sioux Falls Canaries.
Pritchett said the COVID-19 pandemic delayed any possible changes recommended from the 2019 task force. He noted the pandemic has had its biggest impact on convention center events and a future market study will be completed once the advisory board is formed.
The market study will help look at the future needs for events and conventions as well as needs for the arena, baseball stadium and additional hotel rooms.
“That’s been a hot topic and that area will really be a focus of the market study,” Pritchett said about adding more hotel rooms near the events center campus.
Pritchett said more public engagement and public surveys will be part of the new advisory board. He emphasized there’s work that can be done within the actual events center properties and then there’s also the surrounding area around the events center complex.
“There hasn’t been a great deal of private development that’s occurred around that area,” Pritchett said. “What’s it going to take? Is it additional roof tops? Is it more density? Is it another hotel? Is it restaurants? And can they make that profitable in that area?”
In May, Sioux Falls city council member Curt Soehl told KELOLAND News the development around the events center has never really fully come to the vision that was laid out when it was built in 2014.
Since the PREMIER Center opened, $15 million has been invested by Badlands Pawn, now the South Dakota Military Heritage Alliance building across Russell Street from the PREMIER Center location. An additional $10 million has been invested in a hotel and restaurant, Holiday Inn and Crooked Pint, at the intersection of Russell Street at Western Avenue.
On the southern end, Buffalo Wild Wings closed across the street from the baseball stadium.
Pritchett said what role the city should play in helping incentivize private development around the PREMIER Center needs to be determined.
There’s no shortage of different ideas but there needs to be a longtime vision overseeing future changes, Pritchett said.
“There’s some exciting things going on and I think people are excited to see concerts returning to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center,” Pritchett said. “We’re in a good place coming out of the pandemic and looking forward to what the future of that site looks like.”