Simplified: City Councilors this week approved a new five-year agreement with the company overseeing the event center complex. The big takeaway? They want to see less country music and more big-name events.

Why it matters

  • ASM Global (formerly known as SMG) has been managing the Denny Sanford Premier Center, Arena, Convention Center and Sioux Falls Stadium for the last five years.
  • As its contract was up for renewal this year, the city took a look at how best to incentivize the company to focus on bringing in a more diverse group of acts and events to benefit the community as a whole.
  • That's led to a new agreement – approved by City Council Tuesday night – with a new compensation structure set out to ensure ASM Global only makes the big bucks if it's bringing in big events.
"We want to see more show and entertainment diversification," City Finance Director Shawn Pritchett told councilors last week. He added that the facilities are meant for everyone, not just country music fans.

What are the big contract changes?

Essentially, ASM Global has less guaranteed income and more emphasis on incentives from booking shows.

  • The base pay from the city will go from about $140,000 per year to $75,000 per year.
  • The city is also doubling its "qualitative incentive fee" to $50,000. This is essentially money that goes to ASM Global if the city determines it's doing a good job.
  • ASM Global can also automatically earn some of the qualitative incentive fee if they book certain acts in the top 30 based on Pollstar ratings. (The incentive is $10,000 for non-country acts and half as much for country acts).

The new agreement also adjusts how ASM gets paid based on how much money they bring in from events.

What happens next?

The new contract goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023 and runs until Dec. 31, 2027.