NEW ERA: Summit Arena construction complete

The new facility will offer roughly 40 percent more seating for eventgoers and greater versatility for events coming to Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. —  A process that took six years is now complete – construction of the Summit Arena is finished.

“The two years of construction, the year and a half of design work,” said Craig Baltzer, the Executive Director of The Monument.

The completion of the 250,000 square foot Summit Arena brings roughly a 40 percent increase in seating over the Barnett Arena.

More space for versatility in events and bigger crowds, with the magic number being around 10,000, could lead to bigger names coming to Rapid City.

“That meets the radar of a certain level of artist,” Baltzer said. “Certain level artists that are often playing Sioux Falls and billings and passing right through here.”

Not to mention the few million that visit Rapid City every year and how the Summit Arena will impact that crowd.

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“[It] brings people in who stay in hotel rooms, who eat in restaurants, who pay for entertainment, and people coming from all over the country to Rapid City,” said Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender. “They don’t come for four hours for an event and go back home. They come for four days or more to make the trip worth it, so it really builds on itself.”

An opening, coming with somewhat of a closing sentiment on what was the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center and those that enjoyed its events for years – providing a glimpse of the road ahead for Rapid City’s future.

“The new arena will add for these next few generations what the original civic center added for all of those generations,” Mayor Allender said.

Saying goodbye and thank you to a staple of the area to welcome a new one.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News