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Group Recommends Demolishing Sioux Falls Arena

Pointing to issues such as its aging condition and operation costs, a study group is recommending that Sioux Falls Arena be demolished.

Multiple venues around the Denny Sanford Premier Center, including the arena and Sioux Falls Stadium, have been the subject of an analysis by a study group that was convened by the city. The group finalized its recommendations on Wednesday, making a clear suggestion that Sioux Falls Arena be demolished.

Though the group had considered other possibilities–including potential renovations–it feels that demolishing the arena is the best option. Among some of the issues that the group is pointing out include its aging condition–the venue first opened in 1961–operation costs, and limited use. Furthermore, it is believed that the current site would be better used for another purpose. More from Argus Leader:

“The high level things that we talked about that brought us to this recommendation were the age of the facility, its use, the programming being down, and just some of the operating costs that we have here,” said the task force’s co-chairman Ryan Pidde, about the recommendation to tear down the arena.

The group considered the possibility of renovating the arena into more convention center space, but determined that the costs associated with that were too high when considering the age of the facility, built in 1961.

Annually, the arena runs a deficit of more than $600,000. Andrea Miller, a panel member and project manager at Journey Construction, said no longer operating the arena would cover the cost of demolition within three years.

No longer having the arena there would also provide necessary space on the events campus to add onto the existing convention center, which the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau said is necessary to better compete both regionally and nationally to draw more trade shows and conventions to Sioux Falls.

The recommendations will be delivered to Sioux Falls mayor Paul TenHaken.

Sioux Falls Arena has been used for a variety of events over its years of operation, including concerts for big-name performers such as Elvis Presley, Elton John, and more. It has also used been used for collegiate sports and has had some professional tenants in the past, among them the NBA Gatorade League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce, who played there until moving into the Sanford Pentagon in 2013.

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