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July 14, 2017 10:03 PM

Sanford Pentagon Scores Big With Youth Tournament

From major Division I college basketball games to the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship, the Sanford Pentagon has been bringing in big games.

However, the busiest weekend of the year is actually in July and involves teenagers.

Thousands of players, coaches and fans from across the Midwest and Canada are hoping to score big at this weekend's Summer Slam Tournament.

"We know the competition is going to be stiff.  They come from all over the region," John Decker of Watertown said.

More than 160 teams from eight states and Canada compete. Players range in age from 12 to 17. College coaches are also scouting for their teams.

"With the sheer number of the parents and kids that move through the doors on a day like today, this is the busiest you'll see the facility any day of the year," Sanford Pentagon Executive Director Jesse Smith said.

Nearby hotel Fairfield Inn & Suites is also winning because of the tournament.

"For the event's entirety, we'll be reaching capacity," Fairfield Inn & Suites General Manager Brian Johnson said.

It's not just area hotels that are benefiting from this event, but the thousands of people who are coming here are spending money on things like food and clothing.

"The economic impact of this one tournament is pretty significant," Smith said.

"We've gone out to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings. We've enjoyed the food there. We've gone out to the mall. We've spent some money out there. I can imagine having a tournament like this brings quite a bit of revenue into the city," Decker said.

A significant impact that could turn into a winning combination.

"We're learning different things. That's what this should be all about," Decker said.

The event runs through Sunday, July 16.

Smith says the Sanford Pentagon has brought in more than $100 million to the city since it opened in September 2013.

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