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Gov. Noem visits Huron to discuss proposed $20 million State Fair Livestock Complex

Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 7:07 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A new $20 million livestock arena may be on its way to Huron.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced the project at her budget address Tuesday and was in Huron Wednesday afternoon for a news conference to follow up on what the project will mean for the city and the state.

The State Fair Open Class Beef Complex is a complete loss after it started on fire during the early hours of October 31.

From rodeo to cattle shows, the beef complex hosted countless events over the years and is a big loss for the state fairgrounds. But, Governor Noem is looking ahead.

“We’re going to use this as an opportunity to rebuild for the future,” Noem said. “It’s time to imagine all the new opportunities that we could have and all the new memories that can be made, right here in this spot.”

Noem plans to continue creating memories for generations, with a brand new 200,000 square foot multi-purpose livestock arena.

“To put that in perspective, the old building that burned down was 100,000 square feet, so it will double the size of it, and give us room for two more rodeo arenas,” Noem said. “It can showcase up to 2,000 head of beef cattle, it will allow the State Fair to host open class 4-H beef cattle, all under one roof.”

Huron Mayor Gary Harrington says he is grateful for the governor’s support of the State Fair and his community.

“There is excitement, we are excited,” Harrington said. “If you live around here, you know, you drive by here on almost any weekend and (the beef complex) is always being utilized.”

The proposed venue is estimated to cost nearly $20 million, $12 million coming from the state and the rest from private fundraising and insurance.

Noem says she expects the complex to be the best in the country for hosting livestock events.

“The new livestock complex will be state of the art,” Noem said. “This is going to make Huron stronger, and it’s going to give us more opportunities to draw events that are regional but also national in size.”

Laurie Shelton, Huron Chamber & Visitors Bureau CEO, is excited about what events will be drawn to Huron because of the arena.

“We can bring in big events, that is the big thing that we can look at,” Shelton said.

The proposed State Fair Livestock Complex still needs to be approved by the state legislature. Once it is, the project can start to take shape.

Noem says she expects the arena to be ready for the 2022 State Fair.

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