Huether: Bring On Rapid City - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Huether: Bring On Rapid City

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 You could call it a case of "dueling arenas".
 Sioux Falls is in the midst of building a new events center and just this week, city leaders in Rapid City decided to do the same thing.

 In Rapid City, their new arena is expected to have 15,000.
 And the way it stands now, Sioux Falls' Events Center will have 12,000.

 So is this too much of a good thing?
 Will one arena hurt the other one?
 Or is there strength in numbers?
 On Wednesday, we sat down with Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether.

 The planned arena for Rapid City would be connected to the existing Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.
 And it's 15,000 seats would change the western South Dakota landscape as it would, in theory, be able to draw larger shows that had previously overlooked Rapid City.
 The Rushmore Plaza's manager, Brian Malikske, says other Midwest cities have upped the entertainment ante, leading Rapid City behind.
 But will another big venue in South Dakota undermine the planned Sioux Falls Events Center?
 Mayor Mike Huether has been the chief backer of the project, saying it will brings new jobs and new energy to the local economy.
 And when it comes to the Rapid City arena plan, he tells us. "I look at everybody in the state as a teammate. As a partner and when they do good things South Dakota wins and when South Dakota wins, Sioux Falls wins."

 Huether believes two big, new venues for concerts and events will just add to the buzz about South Dakota and put it on the map in a way not seen before. "I think it could help both of us. Because if we have the Carrie Underwood concert, that rodeo, that Nickelback concert in Sioux Falls on Friday then Rapid City can have that same event on Saturday and vice versa."

 Huether does tell us he was unaware that Rapid City had such a big, and similar, project in the works....but adds he welcomes the company and what he hopes will be the success. "The people of Rapid City are doing this and I will hi five them the first chance I get."

 The price tag to renovate the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and build a new arena would be right around 150 million dollar...part of which may be financed under an existing sales tax in Rapid City.

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