In just its third meeting since inception in June, the Fairgrounds Ad-Hoc committee finalized site plans for a new grandstand structure on Wednesday evening.
During discussion, the committee approved a 2,500 seat structure with an alternative option for a 3,500 seat structure, to go out for bid.
Initial discussions at last month’s meeting debated over a roof option, however after research of other similar grandstands around the state, city administrator Dave Johnson advised the committee of a roof serving minimal benefit.
“Unless you are seated directly in the middle, a roof allows very little protection. If it rains, you will get wet and if the sun is out, you will feel it.”
On Wednesday, the committee moved forward with an option to build footings along with the grandstand structure, which would allow for future addition of a roof, if that were to become a preferred option.
Johnson also added estimated cost for a roof would be an additional $300,000.
6th District Alderman Dave Sukow was in agreement.
“From the grandstands I have seen at both fairgrounds and high schools, there was no roof. It’s a luxury we can do without.”
Sukow and Mayor Bill Bialecki had just returned from a trip to Spooner, WI prior to the meeting, in which they evaluated fairgrounds and grandstands both in Spooner and surrounding areas.
Both RFP (Request for Proposal) options will call for a mix of both stadium and bench seating which would be numbered for event purposes.
Stadium seating would consist of individual, molded plastic seats measuring 23” across for accommodation and comfort, and in turn could be sold at a slightly higher cost.
Another benefit to stadium seating as explained by Johnson, is that of attracting a wider variety of entertainment.
“When we are looking to book entertainment, one of the first questions promoters will ask is what sort of venue and seating we have. If we don’t have stadium seating, they will pass us up for the next in line.”
Bench seating would consist benches and backrests, however the exact materials will not be realized until the return of RFP’s. Handicap and companion seating is also planned in the front row of each seating section, as well as wheelchair accessibility.
Johnson and Finance Director Kathy Unertl stated RFP’s for the project would go out next week with a 30 day deadline.
The committee will meet again following receipt and public opening of RFP’s.