Sioux City council members on Monday adopted plans for a multi-purpose venue that will host everything from farm shows to soccer tournaments to dog shows. Officials expect the Siouxland Expo Center to draw people from throughout the region.
Siouxland Expo Board President Dirk Lohry showed the council a one-eighth scale model he built himself of the 104,000 square foot building.
Lohry: “And we could put seating up here. This is a pretty large…
Council member: …observation deck...
Lohry: …And we could put seating up here as well as down below. But I have to emphasize, we aren’t really emphasizing spectator sports in this.”
The project will cost $12.7 million and has been in the works for about a decade. Lohry says he hopes it will bring people from across Iowa and nearby states to Sioux City.
“You know, if you put on a major farm show, people will come from the five-state region to come here,” Lohry said. “I just want anybody to come here rather than us going to Omaha or Sioux Falls where they have similar facilities like this.”
He added the facility will be very adaptable.
“We could split it into like eight different soccer fields all playing at the same time, we could have a large expo or we could have several smaller expos going on at the same time,” Lohry said. It’s…a versatile facility.”
The Siouxland Expo Center was originally envisioned as an equestrian expo center. When projected costs for that came in too high, the idea shifted to a multi-purpose expo center. Woodbury County is contributing $1.5 million over a 10-year period.
With the change in scope, Woodbury County supervisor Rocky De Witt questioned over the summer whether the county should lower its contribution since the center was no longer heavily agriculture-focused.
De Witt confirmed Monday that the county is still maintaining its share of $150,000 per year over 10 years.
The project now goes out to bid. The city expects the building to open in summer 2020.