Terry Torkildson No Longer With Denny Sanford PREMIER Center

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The man in charge of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center is no longer there.  It’s a story that has a lot of people scratching their heads. 

It has a lot of people asking what happened to Terry Torkildson.  He was the general manager of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center since it opened four years ago, but KELOLAND News has confirmed, he no longer works there.  

From Paul McCartney to the PBR, Torkildson had a good ride with the PREMIER Center.  

He was responsible for bringing some of the biggest acts in the country to Sioux Falls.  

“It’s an absolute unheard of thing in our industry and a market of our size that a convention center would make money or break even,” Torkildson said in a 2017 interview following a sold out performance by Paul McCartney.

With Torkildson in charge, the PREMIER Center was setting record ticket sales. 

“We have some of the highest grossing out of the gate on sales of just about anywhere in the country for a building our size,” Torkildson said. 

In 2017, the PREMIER Center had 18 sold-out shows, which was music to the ears of staff and city officials.

“I got to tell you from my perspective, this just never gets old.  This is the kind of thing that gets a finance guy like me pretty excited,” former city finance officer Tracy Turbak said in a 2017 interview. 

But that excitement is now shrouded in mystery as to what happened to Torkildson.

His departure is the second personnel shakeup at the PREMIER Center.  In July, assistant general manager Chris Semrau left for another job in Oklahoma. Les Crooks will be the Interim General Manager. He has been filling in as the interim assistant general manager since Semrau’s departure.

KELOLAND News reached out to staff at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center and SMG headquarters in Pennsylvania for comment. So far no one has returned our calls.  

KELOLAND News also reached out to the Mayor’s office. Mayor Paul Ten Haken said in a text message.

“SMG notified the city on Friday, November 9th regarding the departure of Terry Torkildson as the general manager of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center and Orpheum Theater.  Terry has been a fixture at the city’s entertainment venues for several years, including the opening of the Premier Center.  We wish Terry the best for the future.  The PREMIER Center is on track for a tremendous 2019 as evident by the number of shows already announced. The city is confident SMG will find a candidate soon to continue the incredible success of Sioux Falls’ entertainment venues. We trust SMG’s decision making in ensuring our facilities are well managed and look forward to their continued leadership of our amazing venues.”

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