There are two more years of Summit League tournament play in the Sioux Falls Arena, but excitement is already building about the league’s move to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. The tournament moves into the new event center in 2015, which already has people talking.
A new basketball floor being installed Thursday was the latest symbol of the new building. Tall steel beams were also standing outside the Sioux Falls Convention Center for fans to see during the weekend tournament.
“The transition will be seamless. One year it'll be in the old building, the next year it'll be in the new one,” said Sioux Falls Arena manager Terry Torkildson.
“We have two more years in the old arena, but we're really excited to look at the blueprints and plans for the new arena,” Summit League commissioner Tom Douple said.
Summit League officials joined arena and sports authority officials at a pre-tournament press conference Thursday. Their podium was flanked with renderings of the tournaments new 2015 home.
“It’ll have updated amenities, suites, club seats. There'll be public clubs. I think the excitement level will help a lot with ticket sales as well,” Torkildson said.
He may be right in that expectation. Sales tied with the event center so far have already been successful, just this week the city announced luxury boxes were completely sold out.
The construction is only just beginning, but the steel and concrete foundations will provide weekend fans a glimpse of what will be a top-of-the-line building where teams will compete to make it to the top of the Summit League.
“Obviously the new arena with all the new amenities, it's just going to knock us out of the ball park once we move in there. We're really excited.” Douple said.
The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center will hold up to 12,000 fans, nearly doubling the current arena capacity of about 6,300.
Tickets for this weekend's tournament are selling fast. The Sioux Falls Sports Authority said as of Wednesday more than 38,000 were spoken for.