Sturgis City Council provides update on upcoming Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

STURGIS, S.D.(KBHB) – It’s been talked about for years, but never acted upon – allowing open containers of alcohol outside on Main Street Sturgis during the annual Motorcycle Rally.

The topic was discussed at Monday night’s council meeting.

City leaders say having open container allowed during the Rally creates a more welcoming environment for visitors.

City Manager Daniel Ainslie says it would allow a more relaxed, inviting experience throughout the downtown corridor.

City officials also believe it could establish a new, significant revenue stream for vendors, the city and most importantly, a new revenue possibility for Sturgis Rally Charities. Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen.


Ainslie says it would also help solve the problem of rally patrons taking drinks outside bars and dining establishments and being told to get rid of them.


The proposed plan consists of allowing an open container within an approximate area of Main and Lazelle Streets. Consumption of either beer or wine would also be restricted to a special event cup. Open container would be allowed for a nine-day period during the rally from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. each day.

Concerns being raised include increased law enforcement, confusion about what containers are legal to take outside and minors drinking.

The council made no decision Monday night, but plan on continuing discussion.

The Sturgis City Council voted to terminate its license agreement with SMRi.

SMRi has been the city’s sole licensee for sponsorship and other minor categories.

The relationship brought in millions of dollars over the years, because SMRi held copyrights on rally-related logos and merchandise.

Due to a court ruling that has resulted in fewer intellectual properties held by SMRi, the city decided to terminate its agreement with the group. The agreement wasn’t to expire until 2026.

Sturgis officials say given the recent difficulties SMRi has experienced and the likelihood that the litigation in the federal courts will continue, Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says the city is ready to proceed on a new path.

Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen says the city could establish its own logo, tagline and marketing that it could use for all of the City owned assets.


SMRi was in favor of the termination, which was approved unanimously by the council.