WEST FARGO — West Fargo Events will have more money to attract and host even more concerts and events in 2022 than it did in 2021 after a successful year and a higher contribution to the nonprofit from the city.

The West Fargo City Commission unanimously approved its portion of the nonprofit's budget at its Monday, Oct. 18, meeting. The commission granted $400,039 to West Fargo Events, which it will use to host events at the Essentia Health Plaza and POW/MIA Plaza. West Fargo Events will also continue to host city programs and manage the parking ramp at The Lights. The city granted West Fargo Events $246,200 in 2021.

The West Fargo Events total budget will be about $937,800, of which West Fargo Schools will also contribute to as West Fargo Events manages the West Fargo Sports Arena.

West Fargo Events generated about $356,704 through its events. Executive Director Mike Amundson said the number is lower because West Fargo Events does not want to take credit for money generated by a team effort.

Amundson said the increased contribution to West Fargo Events will allow it to spend about $937,800 in 2022, or about $128,000 more than 2021, on attracting events to both the Essentia Health Plaza and POW/MIA Plaza.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

The upcoming budget also takes into account the full ownership of the parking structure and it also accounts for about 3% inflation.

West Fargo Events employs Amundson along with six members of its operations unit, five marketing and events staff members, more than 110 part-time employees, 20 Zamboni staff positions, 10 plaza attendants, 35 concession stands and 10 general laborers.

"Our team is much larger than you would imagine, but some of these large-scale events take practically an army," Amundson said.

Amundson said it was a "small miracle" considering the shortage of workers in this area that West Fargo Events has been successful at attracting employees.

Last winter, about 30,000 used the ice rink at The Lights, and Amundson estimated about 75,000 have visited The Lights for different events, including attendees from 39 states and Washington, D.C.

Amundson said he plans to host not only bigger and more events in 2022, but bigger names in the performance world as well.

"I think everyone will be pleased when you see the names interested in coming to West Fargo," Amundson said.

Mayor Bernie Dardis said "we're at a young age at this but we're doing very well with what you're doing."

Amundson and the Essentia Health Plaza are currently gearing up for West Fargo Winter Classic, a six-day hockey event in late December.

"We're also going to start a health and wellness week. It's going to be a major event for us this summer, in 2022," Amundson said.