Stage Is Set: Sioux Falls Convention Center Prepares For Bernie Sanders

We learned just Tuesday that Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders will be making a campaign stop Thursday in Sioux Falls. But the Sioux Falls Convention Center, where his rally is being held, didn’t get that much notice either.

Sales Director Stuart Webber said, “It was a phone call that we got just a few days ago.”

Webber says just like that things got hectic at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

Webber said, “They just call in and say ‘Hey, we have a Presidential Candidate that’s coming to town, what space do you have available?'”

Webber and his staff had 2-and-a-half days to accommodate crowds of people hoping to get a glimpse of Sanders.

“Bernie will be up on a stage and there will be hopefully thousands of people in the crowd. It’s going to look full and it’s going to be a lot of energy and should be a great event,” said Webber.

Webber says Sanders will hold his rally here, in Exhibit Hall 2, right inside the Convention Center Lobby. If they need to, they can open up the hall next door.

“We go with the flow and if it’s a big crowd we just keep opening up space and that’s one of the great things about our building is we can keep expanding,” Webber said.

In the middle of all the planning, there’s the Secret Service, already doing scheduled sweeps of the building.

Webber said, “It’s kind of what they say goes, so you kind of have to work around them.”

Those attending the rally can expect to see heavy security as well. Metal detectors will greet people at the door before they flow into the exhibit hall.

“At the end of the day, when this thing happens tomorrow, it’s going to be well worth it,” said Webber.

While they sometimes have years to pull off an event as big as this, Webber expects this one to go off without a hitch.

Doors to the Convention Center Lobby will open at 5 o’clock Thursday night, with the rally beginning at 7:30 p.m. To make it easier, Webber says get to there early and try not to bring a bag. No signs with sticks are allowed.

Sanders will start his ‘Future To Believe In Rally’ in South Dakota on Thursday morning in Pine Ridge and will then continue on to Rapid City before heading to Sioux Falls.