(SD)-Voters Approve New Rapid City Arena
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Rapid City residents voted Tuesday to build a $130 million dollar new and larger arena at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center to replace the Barnett Arena.
The better than 60% support for the plan championed by Mayor Steve Allender was roughly the same margin by which voters rejected an earlier $180-million arena 2-1/2 years ago.
Allender has argued a larger new arena would attract big-name entertainment and help the local economy. He says the city hopes to break ground on the new arena next spring and have it completed in about two years.
Passage comes after more than a year of planning and vetting by a city-appointed task force and more than nine months after Rapid City failed to meet a federal Justice Department deadline to bring the Barnett Arena into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The City Council voted 9-1 for the new arena in February, but opponents who preferred renovating the Barnett at a cost of $28-million conducted a successful petition drive to refer the decision to the voters.
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