Officials are breaking ground on a new livestock complex at the state fairgrounds.
Last October, the Beef Complex burned down. But, Governor Kristi Noem and state legislators saw a chance to build it back bigger.
The new multi-purpose facility, called the DEX, will be double the size of the old Beef Complex—about 200,000 square feet.
The new space will house up to 2,000 cattle, allow for indoor regional and national rodeos and livestock exhibitions, and hold up to 5,000 people at a time.
State lawmakers approved $12 million for the project. Other funding comes from insurance and fundraising.
Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden says that appropriation shows how much the legislature believes in the project.
“The state of the art facility is going to add to South Dakota’s draw as a great location for hosting large conventions and welcoming big rodeo competitions,” Rhoden says. “Seeing as rodeo is the officials sport of South Dakota, it makes sense that we add to the list of premium rodeo venues.”
The DEX facility will host more than just rodeo.
Candi Briley assistant manager for the state fair. She says the DEX building will benefit the state fair, but also the region and state.
“Because not only will we be able to hold open class beef and 4-H beef shows in there during the state fair, but during the off season its going to provide tremendous opportunities for us to bring in larger events that we wouldn’t have been able to hold without the DEX.”
Briley says they don’t have an end date for construction.