Are the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls up for sale?

Technically, no. But there is a corporation that put a 65 million dollar offer on the table to buy the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds on Tuesday.

Dakota News Now is reporting the Knife River corporation, headquartered in Bismarck, North Dakota, made a pitch to purchase the fairgrounds land during the Tuesday (July 5) County Commission meeting.

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Minnehaha County commissioner Cindy Heiberger, told Dakota News Now, “The fairgrounds are not for sale; the fairgrounds are under a deed and, in order to sell that, we would have to go to court to even have permission to sell that."

Selling would be complicated, given the land was gifted to the city by the Lyon family.

According to Heiberger, “The commission can only sell the property under South Dakota state of high law if it’s determined that it is no longer necessary, useful, or suitable for the purpose for which it was required."

As Dakota News Now reports, Knife River Sioux Falls President Clark Meyer believes a state bill that was passed back in 2005 paves the way for the sale to become possible.

Meyer says SD Codified Law 43-25-18 though 43-25-18.5 outlines the process that would allow Minnehaha County to sell the property to Knife River.

If true, Heiberger told Dakota News Now it would take years to complete such a transaction because it would have to go through the courts.

Why does Knife River want the fairgrounds land?

Their desire is to expand the quarry.

MORE: Look Inside That Big Pit By The Sioux Empire Fair Grounds

If a sale should happen, what does that mean for the future of the Sioux Empire Fair?

Knife River has made it very clear they are committed to the future of the Sioux Empire Fair. Knife River intends to honor the legacy of the Lyon Family.

Sioux Empire Fair
Dakota News Now (with permission)

Meyer told Dakota News Now should a sale be possible, Knife River would like to see a task force created that would study all the options, including relocating the fair and leveraging the largest asset the current fairgrounds have, which is the aggregate reserves it allegedly sits on.

The County Commission has plans to meet again to review and further discuss the contract. Subsequent meetings will also include an economic and marketing analysis.

Source: Dakota News Now


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