(Fargo, ND) -- Rob Sobilik, The General Manager for the Fargodome, spoke to WDAY Radio about the facility and how their governing body works - oftentimes in lieu of the city commission.
The Fargodome is a city owned and operated indoor stadium and convention facility. The facility has been the host of several large music, entertainment, NDSU and other athletics, events and concerts; in addition to yearly Fargo Marathon, Food Drives, The Boat Show, and several other events and shows scheduled throughout the year. Sobilik says these only scratch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to activities happening at the dome. These events are often the ones that draw large crowds, and in turn, a large number of tourists to the F-M area. Sobilik say the economic impact from people coming to our region and staying in hotels, buying dinners from restaurants, and purchasing various goods and services from local businesses.
"Through our economic impact studies that we've done in 2001 and 2019, the Fargodome has a direct economic impact of between $25 and $40 million dollars annually, depending upon the type of the event mix and things that happen."said Sobilik.
One of the key items Sobilik wanted to bring attention to was the amount of time and effort it takes to prepare and host shows and events. He says this can lead to near 23 hour days for multiple full time staff members, or long hours for events that aren't always grabbing headlines and selling every ticket available.
The Fargodome Authority
When the concept of the Fargodome was voted into existence in 1990, the Fargodome Authority was also created in tandem with it. Sobilik says management of the Fargodome was privately contracted with a management company for the first 25 years of its existence, but eventually that agreement was terminated in 2016. Each employee is now an employee of the City of Fargo due to this change. The current group of seven individuals is made from seven different individuals made up of several different groups; including two nominations from the city itself, two from NDSU Administration, one from Fargo's Park Board, one from Fargo's Park Board, and one from the Cass County Commission.
The Fargodome Authority's main goal is to abide by several different goals, largely meant to maintain and manage the Fargodome and keep it as self-sufficient as possible. This allows the Fargodome to stray from taking General Fund dollars from the city; and finds ways to fill their budget via ticket sales, parking fees, event hosting, advertising sales, suite prices, and other methods.
Generally speaking, the Fargodome Authority has a great range of jurisdiction over activities, projects, and general ongoing within the building. This does change when large scale projects are under consideration; with one example being several planned expansions of seating areas, restrooms, and circulation space within the building. Other responsibilities of the Fargodome Authority include adopting an annual budget to be approved by the Fargo City Commission, sell and purchase supplies and equipment for the operation of the facility, acquire property needed for construction, maintenance, and operation of the facility, and establish rules and regulations that are otherwise needed.
You can learn more about the Fargodome by clicking here.