Nearly two thirds of Rapid City voters opt for new arena

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Rapid City is well on its way to building a new arena.

About 64 percent of voters (10,968) said "yes" to building a $130 million arena to replace the aging and below code Barnett Arena. Only 6,066 voters were against the plan.

Three years ago, Rapid City voters rejected a multi-million dollar expansion of the Don Barnett Arena.

The issue this year not only split a lot of city voters, it also pitted former mayors against current Mayor Steve Allender. The four former mayors even accused Allender of running afoul of state campaign laws because he used study data in the push to get the new arena plan.

The former mayors floated what they called “Plan C,” which Allender dismissed as architecturally a bad design that would cost the city $100 million. It also, Allender has previously stated, would not bring in new revenue.

Building a new arena, according to Allender, will cost $130 million. The city has $25 million right now and it will borrow up to $110 million and pay $50 million in interest over 30 years.

Mayor Allender says, ' Well I'm very impressed with the public the numbers are 65 for and 34 against, that's a landslide if that holds true through the final phase.'

For results of all local and state races, go to