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Arts & Life

Construction of events complex underway at state fairgrounds

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South Dakota State Fair Foundation
A digital rendering of the DEX facility.

Construction for the new Dakota Events Complex or DEX is underway at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds. ­­The 150,000 square-foot facility will seat up to 5,000 people and will include 1,700 cattle stalls. It will replace the Open Class Beef Complex that burned down in 2020.

The demolishing of the Open Class Sheep Barn marked the beginning of the project.

Peggy Besch is the South Dakota State Fair manager. She said the project has been on the agenda for a while.

“To look at the future and the needs of the fair and so that’s why we are so excited about the DEX,” Besch said. “And the opportunity to create new events but bring in new events that, quite frankly, we may not have had the opportunity to host, so we believe it solidifies our future.”

She said livestock shows will take place in the 4-H Livestock Complex this season during construction.

DEX construction is estimated to cost $24.6 million. The state will contribute $16 million, and $6 million has been raised through private pledges so far.

The project's expected completion is in June of next year.