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NCAA Championships Mean Big Business For Sioux Falls

December 11, 2013, 5:55 PM by Jared Ransom

NCAA Championships Mean Big Business For Sioux Falls
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

While the idea of having these championship events is exciting from a sports stand-point, the City of Sioux Falls could soon be on the map when it comes to large events like this, and that means more money for the city.

Once the clock hit noon Wednesday, the Sioux Falls Sports Authority was glued to computer screens, hoping to hear their name called as host to several NCAA Division II events.

"I'm not going to say I was surprised, but we were elated. I mean, you know, it was a 'Wow' in the morning and very excited to have five at the Pentagon," Sanford Pentagon General Manager Eric Larsen said.

Sioux Falls will host eight events between 2015 and 2018. Before this day could even be possible, the city needed to sell the NCAA on everything Sioux Falls.

"We were talking to them about everything from how far it is from point A to point B in Sioux Falls, where are the hotels, how many rooms are in the hotels, how many restaurants do you have, what are things to do when people are not at the game," Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Teri Schmidt said.

The presentation proved to be successful, and now the discussion can begin on the benefits of playing host.

It is truly historic day for the City of Sioux Falls, not just for hosting eight championship events with the NCAA, but for the financial impact each of those events could have on the city.

"It's big money and it's new money because this is all new business to the city," Schmidt said.

"When you're bringing 16 teams in, all their fans, you're flying in, you've got hotel rooms, they're here for five days, it's a huge event," Larsen said.

City officials aren't able to give exact numbers quite yet, but they know the money coming in to Sioux Falls will be significant.

"We're talking millions of dollars for Sioux Falls. Each tournament, depending on the number of people they bring, the smaller ones may be in the high hundreds of thousands, but we're also talking millions of dollars for some of the tournaments," Schmidt said.

The time for celebration could be short-lived for the Sports Authority as the work will begin immediately to get the city ready to host these eight NCAA championship events.

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