Report Recommends Updating Sioux Falls Arena, Moving Stadium

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The Sioux Falls Arena is an iconic venue in the city, but the 60-year-old icon needs a facelift. That’s according to recommendations from a strategic planning report. It focuses on the Arena, Canaries Stadium, and Orpheum Theatre. City leaders say the findings will be important for Sioux Falls’ future, and the events it hosts. 

Here are some highlights for each venue. 

The Sioux Falls Public Assembly Facility Strategic Planning report says there’s a demand for more affordable concerts and shows, and the Arena has the ability to bring six to eight more shows per year. However, certain limitations are making that difficult. That’s why the analysis suggests upgrades. It recommends a ceiling grid for modern lights and sound equipment for concerts and shows. Where you sit is important, too. That’s why the report says new chairs and more seating are a must. 

All of that, plus updating restrooms and vendors and other renovations, could cost up to $5.2 million. Compare that to a listed $50 million to tear it down, and build a new arena that’s twice as big. 

A lot of you have gone to Canaries games at the Sioux Falls Stadium, but the report shows fewer of you going. The report says attendance has continued to decline every year since 2013. This facility hasn’t had any major improvements in the last 20 years. Repairs could cost $2.5 million. According to the report, given the age of the 54-year-old stadium, a new stadium in the near future would provide a better experience and bring in more baseball fans. Here’s the most interesting part. The report recommends moving the stadium to Downtown Sioux Falls, based on trends in other cities. 

The Orpheum Theater is losing money. From 2014 to 2016, the century old theater had an average net loss of $404,000 each year. In that three year span, it made an average of $124,000 per year, but doesn’t cover an average of $528,000 in per year expenses during that same time. The report recommends the venue, which mostly holds Sioux Empire Community Theater shows, find an additional source of funding to cover operation costs. In an example, it lists a $16 million endowment fund to pay for losses.  


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