Welcome to our live chat with Brian Maliske, general manager of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Brian, are you with us?
Great. Then let's get started.
We're talking today about the proposed $125 million to $150 million expansion of the civic center. According to your presentations, improvements will include a 15,000- to 20,000-seat arena, two parking garages and a re-purposing of the Don Barnett Arena. Why do we need such a big arena? Why can't we just remodel the Barnett Arena?
Good question. 8 years ago we did a study on doing just that. In today's $$ it was estimated to cost $53 million to bring it into ADA code complaince, new building codes etc. It would need to be shut down for 20-24 months and lose approximately 1,000 seats.
The large vehicles such as trailer's would continue to be parked on the New York Street lot's. Support vehicles such as those are located away from the direct entrance to free up those spaces for in/out customers. As you are probably aware, we are proposing adding 3,500 connected parking stalls in 2 parking garages
Brian, what would be the benefits of a 15,000 to 20,000 seat arena?
From the pure seating stand point; it is the size of the events that we could bring. I have often said that while we may only be a city of 70,000 which makes us a secondary market, we have a primary market appetite. By going with the size of arena that would allow us to route with Fargo, Grand Forks, Denver, Lincoln, Omaha and Sioux Falls we could get back to those routes that we had in the 70's and 80's when 10,000 seats fit into larger events.
That is probably the hardest question to answer because if a promoter is looking for 15,000 capacity for their event, they do not call us. Our size and configuration is well known within the industry. If you look at a number of the shows/events happening in Fargo, Omaha, Denver etc. you will see the potential
The proposed funding for the expansion already exists and will be spent in the coming years on some designated projects. The Vision Fund has a special designation, is not property taxes, school taxes, income taxes or such. It was put in place in 1972 to pay for the original Civic Center and we would like to see a PORTION of it come back home to the Civic Center
Why do you believe the
Vision Fund is the best way to pay for this project?
The Vision Fund and CIP funds came into existence in the mid 90's when the original Civic Center was paid off. The penny tax was split in half....1/2 to Vision Fund (2012) and 1/2 to CIP (Infrastructure projects....roads, sewer, water etc.) The 1/2 of Vision Fund has built swimming pools, museums, parks etc. It is from whence we came, and fits exactly into the reason for the 1/2 Penny fund that has been collected since 1972.
That will be determined when that actual architectural designs are done. At that time we will know the HVAC supply and requirements, the actual foot print, actual seating size, loading docks etc. It will be more effecient than the Barnett Arena in most of those manners, but larger with more open space. One of the biggest plus' to the Civic Center is we already have a maintenance team, a Food and Beverage team, a cleaning team etc. It makes it more cost effective.
The access to the new expansion is currently being proposed through above ground connection such as "skywalks" as you seen connecting malls and retail building's in large communities
Here's a question from one of my colleagues: Will you charge for parking in the new garages?
I believe in time that a portion of the garages will include that. All major facilities with parking garages end up needing to do such. It would not be for all events, at all times or for all of the spaces. The current flat spaces would not be included in such a plan.
If we are talking the parking garages.....with our SD weather it is absolutely imparative to have them connected and the ability to try and keep a portion of the patrons out of the weather.
There has been several "looks" at such a walkway over both 5th and Mt. Rushmore rd (8th). I agree that we need to do something. We have been trying to work with Rapid City Streets Dept., DOT and others to make this happen
What's the potential economic impact of the expansion?
According to the economic impact study done by AECOM the new arena economic impact by 2020 would be $113 million. The continued economic impact from the current Barnett arena by 2020 would be $60 million
There's been some talk that Rapid City might try to recruit another sports franchise to town to play in the new arena. What kind of teams would you be looking at?
True story. We have looked at NBDL for basketball, higher levels of indoor football, and also pro LaCrosse, and pro soccer. One of the hold backs is the lack of suite's, club seating, and technology (or lack there of) of the current Barnett Arena
How would the expansion affect the ability of local groups to rent out space at the civic center? Would rates increase?
Hey, guys. Submit your questions if you've got any. Otherwise, we'll have to wrap this up soon.
We currently have in place a Non-Profit rate for our local Non-Profit groups.....to my knowledge we are the only facility such as us in the region to do so.....and would anticipate continuing to subsidize such groups
State law requires a bidding process. We are required to follow those laws. I am sure that the vast majority of actual sub contractors and workers will be local.
Every year the concert schedules "set" themselves. It is unrealistic to expect to see Adele, U2 or Bieber every month in Rapid City, but we do hope to have such offering on a regular basis
Do you have a wish-list of acts you'd like to book if the new arena gets built?
Johnny Cash, the Beatles.......ok sorry.....but I would love to see them......I am a huge AC/DC fan, would love to see McGraw AND Faith Hill together, Adele, Katy Perry, and U2 (which is a stretch until they get done with their stadium tour)
in conversations with the Rush (GO RUSH !!!), they are pleased with the size, shape and benefits of the current Ice Arena, so there are no plans to move them or change the configuration of the Ice Arena
We would love to break ground on the Parking Garages in 2013.....with the new Arena to follow, and once in full operation, the repurposing of the Barnett Arena
There was some concern earlier this week about the seemingly fast pace of the city decision-making process on the project. What does the civic center plan to do to get community buy-in on this project?
When we asked to propose this project, we were told to present to the Vision Fund Committee, which we did. Now we are trying to inform the general public which will include several open houses to go along with the newly launched web site information. We hope to have our 1st open house next week. Just trying to nail down the timing with some of our Board Members.
We went through the suggestions of the Public Works department to select ARC. The initial concept cost less than $25,000 so there was no bidding yet. The actual architectural design phase will be a RFP process as it will cost substantially more than $25,000
A question from our business reporter: Will naming rights be part of the picture on the new arena? What type of companies would the city pursue?
Naming Rights will have to play into the process somehow. I just don't see how the city could pass up the potential $millions that it could generate. That selection process will also go through the RFP process for chosing
The new arena is currently being proposed to have both a Club Seating section and also Suites. If you have time to go to our web site (Gotmine.com) we have some really neat fly throughs that show these.
I was told by Don Barnett that the hotel was voted no on the first run and then yes on the final go round. We will follow the process as the Vision Fund committee and Council ask/tell us to follow.
We'll wrap it up with that. Thanks for your time today, Brian, and thanks to everyone for participating. Anything else you'd like to say before we sign off, Brian?
Thank You ! The Civic Center has been a success only because the people of Rapid City have supported us through the years......THANK YOU !!!!!
Thanks again to everyone for joining in!