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Businesses Boom With Summit League Support

March 12, 2014, 6:07 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Businesses Boom With Summit League Support
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Now that the Summit League tournament has come to an end, many basketball fans are leaving town. And local businesses are already missing their presence.

"It is hectic. It's great. It's a fun atmosphere," Joe Sefrna said.

It may not look like it now, but during the Summit League tournament, Jono's Bar and Grill near the Arena is hopping.

Owner Joe Sefrna says the lack of restaurants in the area helps out the small, neighborhood bar.

"I guess just sheer numbers. When there's not a lot of places to go, they kind of narrow it down. Jono's has been around awhile and it's pretty well known," Sefrna said.

According to the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitor's Bureau Director, Teri Schmidt, the Summit League is one of the top five events in Sioux Falls-- bringing in a lot of business for hotels, restaurants, and some places you might not think about.

"Maybe somebody broke their tooth while they were here and had to see a dentist. Or hurt their ankle or who knows what, and sought medical attention. Also retail. A lot of people go shopping. Maybe they go shopping because they want to, but maybe they go shopping because they forgot their tooth brush. So that all adds in," Schmidt said.

While USD fans had a great week with the women's team winning the championship, SDSU fans were a little less enthused.

Sefrna says how the local teams perform is a big indicator for how much money they'll make that week.

"If you really look at the previous years, when SDSU has been in the finals, it's been a big difference. And as a SDSU alumni I was a little disheartened by the losses of course. And it also affects the revenue at the bar," Sefrna said. 

We won't know exact numbers for a week or so, but Schmidt says this year's tournament was nothing to be ashamed of.

"I have a feeling this one's going to come out yet further ahead than the others have been. And they've all been great successes. But the numbers I think we're going to see in the end are going to show higher than even in year's past," Schmidt said.

Schmidt says coverage from local and national media was also a great promotional tool for the city.

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