SIOUX FALLS -- So you think you can convince Taylor Swift or Bruno Mars to play the Denny Sanford Premier Center sometime soon?

SMG's Chris Semrau. Photo by Todd Epp.

Think again. According to the guy who does it—Chris Semrau with SMG, the event’s center management company--it’s not as easy as it looks.

“It’s a complex sales process. It’s constantly knocking on the doors of the decision makers in the industry., trying to keep yourself on the radar and proving to them that you’ve got a profitable proposition for them.”

Semrau also points out that while Sioux Falls might be a big fish in the small South Dakota pond, it’s still only the 50th largest entertainment market in the country. He also says the center could book some very popular acts but the ticket prices would be out of reach for most residents.

He also says had Cher not gotten sick and had to cancel Sioux Falls and all her other dates, she has been the third biggest grossing tour this year.

Semrau says finding a right fit for artist, promoter, the event center and the taxpayers can be a tricky fit.

“Many times it’s trying to find an act that’s even in the area on a night that we happen to have available, playing for the capacity we have to offer them and having a deal that fits both sides,” Semrau said. “There’s many deals that we walk away from, that we could go book some pretty amazing shows, but it’s too risky in my mind to the taxpayers and their money, so we’ll simply say no and walk away.”

Some major upcoming events at the event center include Cirque du Soleil and a Professional Bull Riding tour stop. In 2016, the “Denny” will host the women’s basketball NCAA Division I regional finals.
Semrau made his comments Monday on KSOO-AM’s Viewpoint University program.