What if Sioux Falls Hadn’t Built the PREMIER Center?
Thanks to Facebook, we now have 'Throwback Thursday'.
Well, consider this 'What If Wednesday'.
A decade or so ago in Sioux Falls, a number of plans were being kicked around by City leaders about what to do with the Sioux Falls Arena, which was about to enter its' sixth decade of service as the Sioux Empire's largest indoor concert/sporting venue.
The ideas ranged from tearing the venerable structure down and replacing it with a brand new facility, doing a major remodel on the existing arena, or keeping it as is and opening a new events center someplace else.
The issue was finally put to rest with a special election in November 2011, when 58 percent of residents casting a ballot voted to construct at new $117 million, 12,000 seat facility on the West end of the Sioux Falls Convention Center. That building became the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, and opened in the Summer of 2014.
But before that happened, North Dakota-based JLG Architects was hired to draw up some plans for what a 'new and improved' Sioux Falls Arena might look like, according to JLG's Director of Marketing, Amanda Kosior.
Terry Torkildson, General Manager of the PREMIER Center confirms the drawings were part of:
...a conceptual concept which they created several years ago prior to the construction of the PREMIER Center.
But as it turns out, it wasn't Sioux Falls officals who commissioned the plans, it was one of the arena's main tennants - the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League. According to Sioux Falls Sports, LLC Owner/Managing Partner, Gary Weckwerth:
The Stampede worked with JLG Architects to create the conceptual drawings you are seeing. We shared them with city officials with hopes that we would create some interest in exploring the options. It fell on deaf ears. Stu Whitney wrote an article about the idea that lead me getting a call from someone named Mike Huether, whom I had never met and was considering a run for mayor of Sioux Falls. I think you'd have to agree that it turned out well for the city.