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Burleigh County studies fairground plan

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A multi-phase master plan for the 310-acre Missouri Valley Complex was received by the Burleigh County Park Board.

Wendy Van Duyne, of Bartlett & West, presented three designs aimed at increasing community awareness with physical facilities along Bismarck Expressway. 

The county park board will study the plan and return in February to learn about operation and maintenance cost estimates for some of the features.

Proposed amenities include pedestrian trails, a mountain biking trail, an off-leash dog park and new playground areas that tie into trail systems.

The plan maintains the community gardens and existing motocross facility. It integrates a new indoor rodeo arena with an outdoor arena and an outdoor farmers market playground structure. In addition, an indoor sports complex is proposed on 13 acres.

To raise awareness about the county fairgrounds, many of the features will be concentrated on the west end of the complex.

"It will raise visibility as you are driving along Expressway," she said. "We got an indoor arena, an outdoor arena. We've also got the farmer's market pavilion and multi-use community space all developed and ties in with the use of the 4-H Building as well Buckstop Junction. We have a lot of physical connections and visual connections to tie in with the overall cohesiveness of the complex. It's important we have enough parking for everyone. Overall, we have 2,700 stalls."

She said there was a strong voice from the equine community in Burleigh County and the region.

"All we heard is there currently is not a complex within the state of North Dakota that can host larger events," she said.

Audiences have requested a facility that could host larger cutting clinics and rodeos to pull in visitors from out of state.

Plans are to realign two entrances to the complex, and a traffic study is needed to determine a viable design, Van Duyne said.

Phases are independent of one another, with none relying on another phase before work can start, she said.

To view the fairgrounds master plan, visit

(Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-8264 or


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