Pandemic has economic impact on PREMIER Center Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center had 25 concerts planned for 2020, which was supposed to be a full schedule, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, halting almost everything at the facility.

The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center’s General Manager Mike Krewson says the cancelations and postponements have ‘been a huge hit.’

The PREMIER Center was going to have a busy last 10 months of the year as they had planned for 24 of the 25 concerts after February.

The facility hosted the ‘Korn and Breaking Benjamin’ concert on February 20, and no one thought that could’ve possibly been the last concert in Sioux Falls.

“We had more concerts planned (in 2020) than 2019,” Krewson said. “From a financial aspect, the concerts are the money makers and that (the cancelations) has impacted us greatly.”

The PREMIER Center wasn’t the only place that was looking at a successful 2020.

“The Sioux Falls Convention Center was poised for a big year and that has been altered by the pandemic as well,” Krewson said.

As the city looks to loosen their coronavirus restrictions, the PREMIER and Convention Center are hoping for some events later this year.

“Any revenue coming in is certainly helpful, but it won’t save our year,” Krewson said.

PREMIER Center Staff

“We finished summit league and we set up for NCAA Division Two Wrestling and the event got canceled,” Krewson said. “The next week, we had no hours for the part time staff, but the full time staff has been able to work.”

Krewson had the full-time staff submit some projects that needed to be completed as the PREMIER Center saw some slow days through March and April.

“Most of the work is projects such as painting and cleaning projects,” Krewson said. “We may be reducing hours if the PREMIER Center stays slow. I want to keep everyone employed. We are requiring masks and face coverings for the people who come into work.”

Most employees can’t work from home, meaning that they are working at the facility, but Krewson has made sure to keep employee safety and health a priority.

What’s next?

The next step is slowly bringing back events to the PREMIER Center.

The facility will start by hosting the PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge from July 10-12.

“We’re trying to bring stuff in to help the premier center but also for the community,” Krewson said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not just had an impact on the facility, but it has also altered the economy in Sioux Falls.

When concerts come to town, they are the biggest money maker for the PREMIER Center, but it also brings in a lot of revenue for the city.

“It would be a boost for us economically and for the whole city, not just the PREMIER Center,” Krewson said.

While the facility would like to open up and bring in a lot of fans, they know they have to take their time and keep the safety of the spectators as a priority.

So for now, the PREMIER Center will stick to a reduced crowd for the PBR event.

“Seeing Sioux Falls and the PREMIER Center on the national level that we did a good job and that we are moving in the right direction,” Krewson said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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