Groundbreaking held on Watertown’s new Prairie Lakes Ice Arena  (Audio)
Mike Tanner/KWAT

September 7, 2022
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–Talk of building a new ice arena in Watertown goes back more than a decade and several mayors ago. But today, that talk turned into reality.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on what will be known as the Prairie Lakes Ice Arena just north of Hobby Lobby off 31st Street East.

Mayor Ried Holien was downright giddy in talking about this monumental day…

All along, the mayor has been bullish on the spinoff development opportunities that might result from a new two sheet ice arena, and he hasn’t back off from that. He says new hotels, restaurants, stores and homes are all possibilities in the neighborhood around the new arena…

Tom Betti is with the 292 Design Group, and was the chief architect who designed this new ice arena. He tells KWAT News it’ll have some great features…

The arena comes at a hefty price–$36 million. Betti says they didn’t take any shortcuts on building materials, which will pay off in the long run…

This project has an aggressive construction timeline. Betti says the plan is to have it open in October 2023…

City Manager Amanda Mack says Prairie Lakes Healthcare is giving $4.5 million to get their name on the facility as part of a 35 year naming rights agreement.