Sioux Falls sports team weigh in on events center debate - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sioux Falls sports team weigh in on events center debate

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About half of the events on the Sioux Falls arena's schedule are booked by the three Sioux Falls sports teams.

Last year out of a total 148 events, the Stampede hosted 28 hockey games, the Skyforce had 27 basketball games, and the Storm had ten football games.

All three call the arena home but is a new events center good for them?

For 50 years the Arena has been the home for Sioux Falls sports but the teams' owners say it's time to upgrade.

"Our team can play anywhere but if we're going to attract big crowds and put on a great product it needs to be done in an updated facility." Said Storm Owner Todd Tryon.

The Storm face 16 teams each year.

Tryon says the arena easily ranks number 16 out of the other venues.

The Stampede are forced to cram their hockey rink into the tiny arena and sacrifice the amenities.

Something a new facility would remedy.

"It would provide us with the things you need to run a successful hockey program, locker rooms, training facilities all those things are missing because of lack of space in the current arena." Said Stampede Owner Gary Weckwerth. 

The Storm and Stampede are ready to leave, but the arena wouldn't be left completely vacant.

The Skyforce say the arena fits them just fine.

"It's great, it's setup for basketball and it's a perfect setup for us we're comfortable and I don't see us moving." Said Skyforce Owner Mike Heineman.

With the Skyforce potentially staying put, they say it would help everyone be more efficient and allow schedules to double up.

"It makes it more flexible for everybody, we don't have to do the setup and teardown every Friday night so they can play Saturday or vice versa, we can have more Saturday dates and more dates for everybody." Said Heineman.

For the Stampede, they just look forward to the possibility of a facility designed for their sport.

"I would love to be able to play in the new building because I feel hockey fans are being cheated here and I hope it all comes together." Said Weckwerth.

The owners know a new events center is not a done deal and are not trying to sway a vote but say this is a big issue and the city must show up at the polls.

"We support this and we encourage people to get out there and vote, whether it's a yes or a no that's on you and we should encourage people to voice their opinions and get your vote out there." Said Tryon.

Both the Stampede and the Storm don't know how much their lease would be if they did move into the new events center.

The owners have expressed their concerns to the city about it.

They believe it will be something addressed once we find out whether or not the building passes on Tuesday.

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