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$120 million = Events center doom

I think the fact costs for an events center and rec center in Sioux Falls are estimated at $120 million will help spell the ultimate death of this dream.

I am a big supporter of both concepts. Still, when you combine the costs ($79 million for the events center and $32 million for a rec center, with the balance for Arena renovations) with the recommended location of the events center, I think it highly unlikely Sioux Falls voters would approve. In fact, the location of the events center might even cause me to vote against it. The proposal is to put it at an old feed mill site near downtown Sioux Falls. Not only is that site highly inaccessible (for example, there is no direct north-south access), you have to add another reported $46 to $48 million to remove and/or relocate nearby railroad tracks and property.

The years of effort it took to get the Washington Pavilion and the ongoing controversy over it shows how stingy Sioux Falls voters can be. The enormous pricetag, its potential effect on the city’s debt limit and the proposed locations do not bode well. 120 million is a lot of kisses of death, particularly if voters are presented with a bundled package.

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