UPDATE: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center renamed at arena groundbreaking
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UPDATE: Rushmore Plaza Civic Center renamed at arena groundbreaking

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It has been a week of big changes for Rapid City.

On Thursday, Regional Health changed its named to Monument Health in a move that included joining the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Saturday afternoon brought more changes when it was announced that the same group won the bid to rename the civic center. 

Beginning in 2021, the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center will be known as "The Monument." Naming rights for the Civic Center facility were awarded to the newly branded Monument Health and announced Saturday by Civic Center Executive Director Craig Baltzer. Monument Health CEO Paulette Davidson unveiled the new name to a crowd consisting of Monument employees, Rapid City residents, community and business leaders and officials.

The 10-year, $3.6 million agreement begins in 2021 with annual payments totaling $360,000. The agreement gives Monument Health exclusive naming rights for the complex and its individual venues. The name of the expansion arena and other venues will be announced in 2020. 

Saturday’s announcement culminates several months of speculation and a thorough review process. Monument Health was selected from three respondents who submitted a proposal to receive naming rights after an extensive Request for Proposals (RFP) process that began in December of 2018. A ceremonial groundbreaking was held for the new expansion arena Saturday.

Before the groundbreaking, Mayor Steve Allender and former Mayor Don Barnett — who led the original push to create the civic center in the early 1970s — both shared some thoughts with the crowd.

"It is a very unique experience coming into office on the heels of a failed attempt to pass this vote," Mayor Allender said. He said this week at the office, they found a 1949 city plan. He said in that plan, city leaders called for a bigger, better civic center.

"That was 1949. Don't let it be said that we don't follow through with our plans," Allender joked. "Better late than never, I say."

He said this is an important day for Rapid City now and in the future.

"Rapid City's time has come," Allender said. "This is a great day for Rapid City and for the future of Rapid City. The Arena isn't the only great thing happening. There is something in the air. This is our time."

After thanking those in attendance, Allender introduced former Mayor Barnett who talked about Rapid City's spirit of optimism.

"I stood here in 1977 and said this. Norman Cousins wrote an article about American optimism," Barnett said. "In that article, he said the following words, 'Optimism is the basic energy of civilization.' Has there ever been a more clear statement about the common good for this region?"

The 250,000-square-foot arena will be home to the Black Hills Stock Show, PRCA Rodeo Rapid City, Lakota Nation Invitational, President’s Cup Soccer Tournament and the Rushmore Cup Hockey Tournament. In addition, the space will be used for concerts, family shows, circuses, basketball and large-scale wrestling tournaments, as well as open-floor exhibitions. 

“This naming rights agreement is a great win for all parties,” said Baltzer. “Our mission has always been to provide Rapid City and Black Hills residents and visitors with a great, memorable and enriching experience, where our patrons can enjoy a user-friendly facility for entertainment, concerts, plays, conventions, sporting events and civic gatherings. Monument Health continues to make a strong statement of commitment to Rapid City and the entire Black Hills Area. And the name provides a strong, durable identity for the facility, including our new arena. It seemed like a natural fit.”

Monument Health officials look forward to the future partnership.

“We are thrilled to have our new name associated with memories that will be created at The Monument,” said Paulette Davidson, Monument Health President and CEO. “The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center has long been known as a place to gather and experience sporting events, performances, the arts and more. We hope family and friends come together at The Monument to create memories that will be associated with our name.”

After the partnership takes full effect in 2021, the Regional Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine team will be the official sports medicine partner for all events that occur within The Monument.

With this new partnership, Monument Health will offer new quarterly community health fairs to bring free or low-cost health screenings and health information to Black Hills residents.

“This name opportunity is unique for us and will be a source of pride for all physicians and caregivers. This is an enormous chance for us to give back to the Black Hills at a time of great growth,” said Davidson. “As the largest employer in the region, it is important that we continue to positively impact our communities.”

The contract will be presented for ratification at the next Civic Center board meeting scheduled for November 26. It will be made public when it is included as an attachment for that agenda later next week.

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