Rapid City committee contemplates building new civic ctr. arena - KOTA Territory News

Rapid City committee contemplates building new civic center arena


The future of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center is up for discussion, as a group of Rapid City community leaders meet to discuss what lies ahead.
The Civic Center Future Committee, comprised of tourism, community and economic leaders, will spend the next 12 months deciding what should be done with the Don Barnett arena.

The 35-year-old arena is out of compliance with the Americans with disabilities act. Research presented to the board Wednesday shows that if a new arena were built, the average concert attendance would nearly triple.

A new arena would have an economic impact of $53 million dollars by 2020. But board members say their ears are open to the public's wishes first and foremost.
"The community at large will be invited to come in and offer their opinions, their input is very essential," said Jeff Bailie, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center board member.
"As we bring businesses into the community, one of the thing they look at is quality of life. And the civic center offers an important aspect of that quality of life," said Mutch Usera, a member of the Civic Center Future committee.
According to statistics, if the arena is simply renovated and expanded, it will still bring in roughly one million fewer visitors annually by 2020, than if it were rebuild all together. Preliminary estimates on building a new arena show a cost to be upwards of $70 million dollars.

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