The first step for Rapid City to get a new arena has been approved. The Rapid City Council voted in favor on Monday night of building a new venue at the current Rushmore Plaza Civic Center site.

The project has not been given the full green light however. According to the Rapid City Journal, as soon as the council approved the new $180 million facility citizens starting putting together signatures to make the arena go to a public vote. The plan to pay for the facility would be through bonds.

The project would call for the Barnett Arena at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center to be extended to hold 19,000 seats for a concert, and would have the ability to put a full size football field in it. Think along the lines of the FargoDome.

Sioux Falls recently opened the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, which seats 12,000 for a concert. If Rapid City is able to get this built, they would have the opportunity to pass Sioux Falls for bigger shows by having room for 7,000 more people to attend. While that doesn't sound promising for Sioux Falls, the increase of competition could also be great. It would cause the city to reach for even more events.

Plus, with the amount of room for a football field, Rapid City could find themselves in contention to take away the South Dakota State Football Championships away from the DakotaDome in Vermillion. With no other indoor facilities around the area, Vermillion has become the permanent home of the title games since 1981.

The new arena will be voted on after the signatures are collected. For more information regarding a timeframe, venue template, and the payment structure, click here.

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