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Posted 9/27/16 (Tue)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

What can you say when you first walk into Watford City’s new Rough Rider Center, but “Wow! This kind of facility can’t possibly be in Watford!” The new center, which was officially opened to the public on Friday, Sept. 23, is truly an amazing facility that will meet the city’s and county’s recreation needs for generations to come.
And that is just what the Rough Rider Center was built for. Built at a cost of $101 million, including the athletic fields, the 269,000 square foot facility includes two skating rinks for hockey and skating, a multi-purpose fieldhouse for basketball, volleyball, and baseball with indoor turf for off season practice, a main arena that will have seating for up to 3,200 spectators for sporting events, as well as concerts. In addition, there is a swimming pool area which includes a water slide, leisure pool, as well as a six lane competition pool.
While meeting the indoor recreation needs of the community was one of the main reasons that the new facility was built, it was also designed to offer convention and meeting space, as well as to provide office and classroom space for the University of Mary’s Watford City campus.
Like the new Watford City High School, the Rough Rider Center elevates Watford City to a whole new level as a community.
And, once again this project demonstrates how when Watford City has a need, people come together to get things done. It took a vision, a desire to make Watford City a great place to live and work, and it took creative financing to ensure that the taxpayers in the city wouldn’t be burdened with tax increases.
If you haven’t been to the Rough Rider Center yet, you need to do so. The possibilities that this facility offers to our community and county are truly endless. From hosting district and regional sporting events, to holding concerts, and conventions, the Rough Rider Center offers the amenities that up and until now could have only been found in the state’s major cities.
Watford City is no longer the town that is was six years ago. We need the facilities that will meet the needs of a growing community. And the Rough Rider Center is just the latest addition to the ever growing list of improvements that have been made that will help transform Watford City into the best small town in North Dakota.