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Sioux Falls arena vote could go to vote this fall

Sioux Falls StampedeA vote on a controversial events center and arena in Sioux Falls could be presented to the electorate this fall, as Mayor Mike Huether continues his mission to build next to the current arena/events center complex, rather than downtown.

Huether and a local group have been sparring over the location of the new facility: Build it Downtown wants to see it built downtown (duh) as an economic-development tool, while Huether and several consultants say the best location is at the current complex where there’s good access and free parking. (It all comes down to the parking, doesn’t it?)

The Sioux Falls City Council has the final say, though, and a vote next week could see the council overrule the mayor’s recommendation and point voters toward a downtown location. After that, a financing plan needs to be approved, followed by a public referendum. Neither side seems worried about voters approving the project, but they are differing on when the vote shoud happen: Huether is pushing for a November 2011 vote, while some council members say November 2012 — a presidential election year — is more appropriate.

The interesting fact: the location of the new complex is far from settled.

RELATED STORIES: Sioux Falls mayor: New arena should go at old-arena site


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