HURON, S.D. — Plans for the DEX: Dakota Events CompleX are taking shape following the groundbreaking held on Thursday, September 2 during the 2021 SD State Fair.
The DEX is the new multipurpose livestock and equestrian facility replacing the Open Class Beef Complex destroyed by fire just one year ago. Construction is set to begin in Spring 2022 with substantial completion scheduled for June 2023. A grand opening ceremony will be held at the 2023 State Fair.
The approximately 150,000 square-foot DEX will be able to house two, full-sized equestrian arenas, or 1,700 plus cattle stalls and seat up to 5,000 people, making it a one-of-a-kind venue for hosting local, regional, and national events. The DEX will also have a pre-function and concession area, along with restrooms. DEX construction cost are estimated at $22.5 million.
The project is being funded through a state – private partnership with the state contributing up to $16 million. Private support for the DEX has been outstanding with more than $5 million pledged to date. However, the fundraising effort continues to help offset increased construction costs and ensure the facility has everything in place to hit the ground running in 2023. There are still many great donor opportunities available including interior naming rights and donor wall recognition. In addition, livestock producers can leave their legacy by having their brand on display at the DEX brand wall. The brand wall will be in a highly visible area that can be enjoyed year-round by DEX visitors. If you are interested in participating, please contact the SD State Fair Foundation at 605.353.7340.
As part of the project the Open Class Sheep Barn, which has long outlived its useful life, will be demolished and the Open Class Sheep exhibits will be permanently relocated to the 4-H barns. A task force of sheep industry and fair representatives has been formed to ensure the 4-H barns have everything they need to showcase the fair’s world class sheep and goat exhibitors and their breeds.
Committees will also be established to help identify strategies for showing both open class beef and sheep at the 2022 State Fair due to ongoing construction at the DEX.
If you would like to learn more about the DEX or are interested in contributing to the project, please visit https://www.
— South Dakota DANR