PREMIER Center Manager Earns International Award Nomination


Chris Semrau, Assistant General Manager of Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, is a finalist for the 2017 Venue Executive of the Year for the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) Industry Awards.

IEBA is the leading not-for-profit trade organization for live entertainment industry professionals with over 1,300 members.

Semrau was hired by SMG at the beginning of 2014 by venue General Manager Terry Torkildson and charged with, among other duties, booking touring events for Denny Sanford PREMIER Center which opened in September of 2014.

Semrau has worked with key entertainment industry decision makers to book major touring artists including Garth Brooks, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Luke Bryan, Ed Sheeran, and many more. Due to the success of touring events at the facility, last year the PREMIER Center ranked 88th in Pollstar Magazine’s list of the top 200 arenas in the world and 46th in the country based on touring ticket sales.

Semrau was also instrumental in recruiting other first-time events to Sioux Falls including the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), NCAA D1 Men’s Ice Hockey Regional Tournament and Cirque du Soleil. Semrau has been a finalist the past three years for booking achievements by Venue’s Today magazine and the PREMIER Center has been a finalist for Midsize Venue of the Year in 2016 and 2017 by the Academy of Country Music due to the success of the country tours at the facility

Prior to the PREMIER Center, Semrau served as Director of Events for 14 years at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks. He was born in Sioux Falls and graduated from the University of North Dakota.