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Business & Economics

Look inside Rapid City's new, $130 million arena

Summit Arena at The Monument
Arielle Zionts
People gather to celebrate the new Summit Arena in Rapid City.

Rapid City has a new arena that will soon be filled with rock stars, basketball players, powwow dancers and stock show-goers.

People gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the Summit Arena at The Monument event center on Wednesday.

The Summit Arena at The Monument event center
Arielle Zionts

Craig Baltzer is executive director at The Monument.

He said the 11,000-seat arena allows the city to attract new events and expand existing ones, which will benefit the entire city. He said those events include state basketball tournaments, the Lakota Nation Invitational basketball tournament, the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo, and the Black Hills Sports Show & Outdoor Expo.

"All of those events and more have been looking to grow," Baltzer said, "so in every way, shape and form, this is going to increase economic impact to the city."

Visitors can keep track of events on the massive video screens and scoreboards in the center of the arena. Private and public lounge areas provide a place to relax and grab a drink from sleek wooden bars. Snacks are available at traditional concession stands but also at a modern grab-and-go market.

The $130 million voter-approved arena is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, unlike the Barnett Arena, which was built in 1977.

The old arena can't host certain concerts due to its smaller size and outdated infrastructure. But it will still be used to provide extra space at tournaments, powwows and industry shows.

The first event at Summit Arena will be the High School All-State Chorus and Orchestra on Oct. 30, after the Black Hills Pow Wow cancelled due to COVID-19.

The first concert is For King & Country on Nov. 11 after Pitbull and Iggy Azalea rescheduled for an undisclosed reason.

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