East side site chosen for proposed new Watertown Ice Arena

March 31, 2021
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–More details on a proposed new two-sheet ice arena in Watertown were unveiled at a special city council meeting this week.

City councilman and Ice Arena Committee Chairman Ried Holien says eight sites for the arena were under consideration before the committee settled on an area near Willow Creek Drive on Watertown’s east side.

Holien says the $14 million arena will spur spin-off development in that area that will include a new hotel attached to the arena.

One sheet of ice would be in place 10 months of the year, allowing for ample practice time. The other sheet of ice would be in place for six months of the year. That space could be used for other events out of season.

Construction costs would be funded by privately raised dollars and donations, and a tax increment financing agreement with the Watertown Development Company. 

First Premier Bank and PREMIER Bankcard are donating one million dollars toward the project. The Watertown Hockey Association and Watertown Figure Skate Club have committed to an additional $2.75 million in cash and in-kind donations. 

Holien says a naming rights deal worth, “millions of dollars” is also in place, along with another anonymous donation of $250,000. 

A memoradum of understanding approved by the city council calls for the land to be purchased for a half million dollars by around August 1st.

Fargo developer Jesse Craig’s company would construct the facility with a possible completion date by October 1, 2022.