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Renovation of rodeo grounds continues

The familiar sight of the wooden bleachers, wet arena area and multiple light poles at the Mobridge Rodeo Grounds is long gone as the renovation of the facility continues.
The Mobridge Rodeo Association and Mobridge Rodeo Foundation are working together to make this $2.4 million project a reality. The foundation is the non-profit formed to raise funding for the project.
The renovation project has been split into two phases. Phase one is currently underway and includes the renovation of the bleacher area, new underground electrical system, alleviating the drainage issues, laying concrete for the special events (dance) section along with other infrastructure projects. The new lighting system will have only five poles, but will be able to illuminate twice the area of the former system.
This phase of the project will be completed in the spring when the bleachers are installed. The new bleacher area, made up of aluminum bleacher seats, 588 individual seats, with handicapped accessible seating areas will be installed this spring.
Crews are working to get the infrastructure work complete before the ground freezes.
“We should see a huge difference in a couple of weeks,” said president of the foundation Darrell Schlepp. “We are anticipating that the only thing left to do this spring is to set up the grand stand.”
The purpose of phase one is to prepare everything for phase two, which includes renovating the bathrooms, concession stands, bleachers, and ticket booth and creating a green space for people to enjoy.
The foundation is currently raising the funds through donations and events to finish the project.
“We would love to start phase two next year after the Fourth and finish in the spring of 2020,” said Schlepp.
The plan is to have the project complete and dedication of the renovated area for the 75th Anniversary of the Sitting Bull Stampede to be celebrated in 2020.
Other members of the foundation include MRA members Bruce Brekke, Pat Thorstenson, John Badgley, Jesse Konold, Ross Wientjes, Michele Harrison, Randy Runnels and Josh Helm.
In addition to the Sitting Bull Stampede, the rodeo grounds are currently used for Wrangler Roping, Shrine Circus, Mobridge Demolition Derby, Sitting Bull High School Rodeo, Mobridge High School Practice Rodeo, and River Run Barrel Racing Series. In the past the arena has also been used for concerts, family and high school reunions, educational activities, and other livestock related events.
– Katie Zerr –