Construction of the DEX: Dakota Events CompleX to Begin in the Spring |

Construction of the DEX: Dakota Events CompleX to Begin in the Spring

Huron, SD – Starting in April, construction on the DEX: Dakota Events CompleX will begin on the South Dakota State Fairgrounds with the demolition of the Open Class Sheep Barn, followed by utility and ground infrastructure preparation.

The DEX is the new multipurpose livestock and equestrian facility replacing the Open Class Beef Complex destroyed by fire in 2020.

The 150,000 square-foot facility will be able to house two, full-sized equestrian arenas, or 1,700 plus cattle stalls and seat up to 5,000 people. The facility will be heated for year-round usage and include a ventilation system to ensure proper air movement. Additionally, to create a positive experience for livestock shows and equestrian events, adequate electrical drops and a variety of access points for water, including water drops throughout the building, will be available.

The DEX will have a pre-function and concession area with restrooms. The plans also include an enclosable, heated wash rack connected to the DEX.

Project renderings are available at

Henry Carlson, a Sioux Falls based company, was selected as the construction manager for the project. The prefabricated metal building was ordered in September, with several of the remaining components being bid out in March. While the project has been impacted by increases in construction material costs, as well as delays in construction materials, substantial completion is still on target for June 2023. The DEX construction costs are estimated at $22.5 million.

Due to the demolition of the Open Class Sheep Barn and construction of the DEX, the 2022 Open Class Sheep and Beef Shows will be relocated to the 4-H Livestock Complex.

Artist rendering of the Dakota Events Complex

The project is being funded through a state – private partnership with the state contributing $16 million. Private support for the DEX has been outstanding with well over $5 million pledged to date. However, the fundraising effort continues to help offset increased construction costs and ensure the facility has every amenity 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.

If you would like to learn more about the DEX or are interested in contributing to the project, please visit

For information about the South Dakota State Fair, contact the Fair office at 800-529-0900, visit or find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

–South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources

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