Crews work on the arena at the new Rafter 3C Center.
Community members received their first glimpse of the new Rafter 3C Center at the fairgrounds Thursday as the county hosted the Fallon Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the new $13.9 million facility.
Churchill County Manager Jim Barbee presented an overview to Chamber members and their guests before his staff gave a tour of the 75,000-square-foot center. Barbee said the events center at the Churchill County Fairgrounds will benefit the area economically.
“Our goal is to be able to book out during the year with large events,” Barbee said. “Obviously, local events will be moving here.”
Barbee said local events such as the annual Churchill County Junior Livestock Show and Sale in late April will move to the center. In the future, Barbee said the county and city of Fallon would like to see additional regional events that will bring more money into the community such as livestock shows, auto and equipment shows and concerts.
A concession stand is located on the north side of the Rafter 3C Center.
Barbee said the Rafter 3C Center is about 98% completed and should be finished within the next five weeks. By June 1, he said visitors will see more detail in the building. Barbee said the county and architect designed a facility that doesn’t look like a government building.
Built on a section of the fairgrounds parking lot off Sheckler Road, the center offers the following amenities:
• Stadium style seating for 1,822 people and 30 spaces for wheelchairs. Seating may be collapsed to allow for additional floor space.
The Fallon Chamber of Commerce held their February lunch at the new Rafter 3C Center.
• Approximately 304 parking spaces will be added in the new paved lot on the north and west sides of the building. Plans to double the parking availability are planned for the future.
• Livestock pens will be relocated on the south side of the facility with chutes running into the arena.
• Video screens will be mounted inside.
Barbee said a meeting room and an inside concession area are located on the north side. Based on what they saw with similar events centers, Barbee recommended to the Churchill County Commission to install a special type of arena covering which could be topped with dirt for rodeo, equestrian and livestock events and then removed for a wrestling or basketball tournament with at least three courts.
Seating for several thousand people has been installed at the new Rafter 3C Center.
Barbee said the idea for a new center was discussed by the county commission and then approved in 2020 with construction beginning in 2021. The total cost is $13.9 million with a bond totaling $9 million, and the city and county responsible for the balance. At their December meeting, commissioners also learned the fairgrounds was receiving a facelift for the bucking chutes, panels and arena. Improvements will be made to the multipurpose building. The main arena was built in 1970.
Barbee said the county will also work with the city on marketing, but the Churchill County Parks and Recreation Department will be responsible for booking events. Eventually, he said a website will be designed for the center.
To book an event, call Parks and Recreation at 775-423-7733.
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