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Timeline on events center

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Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Timeline on events center
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

-- July 16: City Council retains Headwaters Regional Development Commission to be the events center project coordinator.

-- June 25: City of Bemidji submits a request to the Legislature for funding, detailing plans for a $50 million events center and a request to have the state contribute $25 million toward the facility.


-- June 14: Council approves a multiuse events center that would house Bemidji State University hockey and have about 10,000 square feet of events center space.

-- June 4: Council votes in favor of a $50 million events center; city will request $25 million from the state.

-- May 2007: Design team produces plans for a $76.8 million events center - a 230,000-square-foot facility. Plans include a multipurpose events center with BSU hockey as the anchor tenant, a second sheet of ice for hockey practice, and a convention center.

-- Late 2006 to early 2007: "Bemidji Leads!" turns project over to the city's Event Center Task Force and its four subcommittees (facility, finance, neighborhood redevelopment and public input and information).

-- Nov. 7, 2006 (Election Day): Voters approve an extension of the half-cent sales tax to fund 60 percent of the project. Sales tax is expected to generate $30 million throughout 30 years. Referendum passes by 44 votes.

-- Nov. 6, 2006: 13 area business pledge $330,000 throughout five years to fund any operating deficit from an events center. ShoreQuest's John Zacher also declares that he would like to purchase the naming rights for the facility for $50,000 a year for five years.

-- November 2006: Study regarding the events center is released by Wayzata-based Conventions, Sports and Leisure International. CSL study says that without BSU hockey, the events center probably would not be possible, that the lack of a nearby hotel could negatively affect the center, and that the events center would likely operate at a deficit. Study also said the events center would generate an estimated $6 million a year in direct spending and $3.4 million a year in indirect spending - 70 percent of direct spending would come from new visitors who do not currently spend money in Bemidji.

-- Fall 2006: Seven forums are held to educate community about events center referendum.

-- Early 2006: City learns it will receive $3 million from the state to fund the design of the project.

-- Fall 2003: "Bemidji Leads!" Events Center Action Team is formed to study the feasibility of a regional, multipurpose events center. It was then estimated to cost $35 million for a 180,000-square-foot facility.

Bethany Wesley
(218) 333-9200 x337