New Rodeo Facility a Priority for Stark County Fair Association

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Welcome to the Blue Hawk Rodeo Stampede, where some of the best college riders get to compete in front of their hometown fans.

And giving these competitors a new facility to showcase their talents is the top priority for the Stark County Fair Association.

"Plain and simply, we need a new facility," said Ron Urlacher, a member of the Stark County Fair Association. "This facility here is very old. I was born and raised here and it's been here for as long as I can remember"

With the rapid expansion of Dickinson, the arena now practically sits in the center of town.

That's not the only challenge the city's growth is posing.

"We don't know what to plan for," Urlacher said. "All we know is our community is growing and we need to do something. Our arena is in the middle of town already and it just isn't a good mix"

Although the arena is functional, there's still a lot of improvements that need to be made.

"If we had a place that was brand new, bigger, all our own, a place where we could keep livestock, all of our horses, less travelling around, it'd be more of a team environment," said Bobbi Grann, a member of the Dickinson State University women's rodeo team. "I think it would be great for recruits and I think it would be great for the program."

And that's the goal, according to park board members, who say they're hoping to have an outdoor arena done a year from now.

"That's what the county park board is hoping to see happen and that's why we're going to spend the money to get that accomplished," said Arnie Binek, the chairman of the Stark County Park Board.

The Stark County Fair Association is also planning an indoor arena and exhibit hall for the future fairgrounds.

Fair association members say they'll consider bids soon to get the construction of the new arena underway.