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‘Reimagined Fargodome’ plans revealed by Fargo leaders



Fargo, North Dakota – Residents of the city will probably be asked to vote on whether to support funding a “Reimagined Fargodome” about 35 years after the construction of the Fargodome was authorized.

Fargodome General Manager Rob Sobolik presented plans for the renovation of the current building and the addition of a 90,000-square-foot convention center at an informational presentation on Tuesday.

The project would cost between $116 million and $140 million in total.

The estimated cost of the renovations is $85 million. They include adding 134 women’s facilities and 57 men’s restrooms, more concession stands, circulation space, elevators, and storage, as well as increasing the number of handicapped accessible seats from 43 to 112 with the same number of companion seats.

A 45,000-square-foot exhibition hall, additional bathrooms, and a catering kitchen would be included in the convention center, which would attach to the southeast corner of the dome. The convention facility is anticipated to cost about $46 million.

A 1/4% sales tax hike, a 3% hotel tax increase, and $30 million in Fargodome reserves would all be used to finance the project. Over $12 million would be made in the first year alone thanks to the 20-year tax rate.

Although the rate in Fargo would rise to 7.75% as a result of the sales tax increase, officials claimed that this is still less than in West Fargo and Moorhead. However, Fargo’s lodging tax would be the highest in the state.

In the next weeks, the project will be put to a vote by the Fargodome Authority and City Commission. Residents will vote in a special election on December 5 whether they approve funding.

There has long been discussion about building a convention center at the Fargodome. Fargo currently cannot compete with the closest convention centers for large conventions, according to FM Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Charley Johnson, and the city has lost a lot of business as a result.

After significant events like concerts and Bison football games, the dome has in the past drawn criticism for being unable to efficiently handle enormous queues at toilets and refreshment stands.

According to Sobolik, at larger events, the space constraints actually result in lower revenue per person. For instance, in February 2020, Jason Aldeen attracted 9,000 concertgoers who each paid $18. Pink performed in front of 20,000 people in January 2019 who each bought $10, which is almost half as much. According to Sobolik, this is because people waited in lengthy lines for such a long time.

Leaders claimed that by remodeling the building, Fargodome will be better able to handle the enormous crowds and increase the range of concessions.

Here are further details on the project.