Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Rushmore Plaza Civic Center
Rushmore Plaza Civic Center
Scott Hall
July 10, 2013

Rapid City Departments- Civic Center

Civic Center is one of twelve departments in the Rapid City government. Their purpose is to provide extraordinary customer service and safety standards that will create a memorable experience for all guests of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

Mission Statement

From Department Summary

The mission of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center is to provide and maintain a user friendly facility for entertainment, concerts, plays, conventions, sporting events and civic gatherings to enrich the lives of the people of the Black Hills area.


The history of the Civic Center begins in 1970 under Mayor Jack Allmon. During his term, a committee was appointed and they selected a site, but no plans for funding were passed. It would not be until 1972, under Mayor Don Barnett, that voters approved a one-cent sales tax to fund construction. The Black Hills Flood of 1972 derailed plans, but planning moved forward as the city recovered. Construction started in 1975 under Mayor Art LaCroix (both Mayors Barnett and LaCroix are honored in the Civic Center with LaCroix Hall and the Don Barnett Arena). The doors opened in 1977; Elvis Presley was the first performer. The story of the planning of the Civic Center and its early days can be found on the BHKN.

Rising costs had forced cutbacks to the scope of the Civic Center plan. Over the years, the facility has expanded. Rushmore Hall was added in 1986, Rushmore Hall North and the food court came in 1997. For 2008, the Civic Center added an ice arena and additional parking.

In 2012, an expansion to the Civic Center was proposed that would add a new arena and additional parking. Other concerns are renovating the center's aging infrastructure and bringing the building into compliance with the Americans with Disability Act. A summary of changes was brought to the City Council.


Workers in the Civic Center are divided among several divisions- administration, production, concessions/catering, maintenance, ticket operations, and HVAC/trades. The department is headed by a General Manager and overseen by a Board of Directors (the board is covered by chapter 2.76 of the Municipal Code). Craig Baltzer was hired as General Manager in October 2014, starting November 3, 2014. He replaced long-time manager Brian Maliske

Beyond the Civic Center staff, the department also operates the Energy Plant, which provides utilities for the Civic Center and Central High School. The Energy Plant also monitors other city facilities and area schools.

The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center has a 10,000 seat arena, a 1,745 seat fine arts theatre, a 7,450 seat ice arena, and over 250,000 feet of convention space. The ice arena serves as home for the Rapid City Rush hockey team. The Civic Center is used for the Black Hills Stock Show, the Black Hills Home Builders Home Show, the Lakota Nation Invitational, State High School Activities, and more. There were 1.3 million customers during 2009.

Additional Resources

Civic Center Home Page  Home page for the department on the Rapid City site

Civic Center Tickets and Shows  Main site for the Civic Center, with ticketing information, upcoming shows, and more

Memorial Park Promenade Information on the Memorial Park Promenade, a walkway connecting the Civic Center with downtown Rapid City

One Cent Sales Tax, Civic Center  A collection of news stories on the creation of the Civic Center

Rapid City Civic Center Expansion  Proposed expansion of the Civic Center

Archive  News stories and government reports on the Civic Center

Digital Archive  Scanned images related to the Civic Center


Related items

  • Pennington County Care Campus Adds 64 New Beds

    Sixty-four new treatment beds opened up at the Pennington County Care Campus today, as the final phase of work on the campus’ second floor was…
  • Lead-Deadwood School Board Announces Vacancy

    Board member Bob Nelson, Jr. submitted his resignation to the Lead-Deadwood School Board at its October 8th meeting, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. It was…
  • YFS Programs Receive $100,000 Grant

    The Girls’ Inc. and Health Connections Programs, both operated by Youth and Family Services in Rapid City, have been awarded a grant of $100,000 by…

525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]