Lancaster Event Center to expand

Courtesy: The Clark Enersen Partners

By:  Newsroom

An ag coliseum and pavilion will be added to the facilities at 84th & Havelock.

Representatives from the Event Center told the Lancaster County Board they want to build the final phase of the 1999 master plan — a fixed-seat agricultural coliseum and pavilion on the southwest corner. The first two phases were completed in 2001 and 2009.

The $43 million project includes 200,000 square feet of additional space, upgrades to existing buildings, new parking lots, landscaping, and a relocated and expanded campground. The coliseum would seat 2500-2800 and include concessions, offices, and meeting rooms. Commercial development by others is currently in the planning stages for the NW corner of the site.

Managing Director Ron Snover said, “The addition will allow us to meet the needs of regional and national shows that stay longer, use more space, and generate more revenue. By increasing our stabling capacity from 800 to 1200 horses and providing a show arena for spectators, we can attract national rodeos and breed shows that we can't get today.”

The expansion could attract the country's largest agricultural shows. The Nebraska Power Farming Show, held at the Event Center in December, is already the third largest indoor farm show in the country, drawing people from 42 states. With this expansion, show organizer Andrew Goodman believes it could grow by as much as 50% and become the second largest show in the country. “We are very pleased with the Lancaster Event Center and are excited about the prospect of growing our event when the facility can accommodate it.”

Dr. Ernie Goss, Creighton Professor of Economics and principal investigator with Goss & Associates reported the project would have a significant impact on the local economy, job market, and tax revenue. “The Event Center is an important contributor to Nebraska's biggest growth engine – agriculture,” Goss said. “With borrowing costs at an all-time low and the potential for attracting large regional events, this is an optimal time to implement plans for the next phase of development.”