The basketball games may bring in the crowds, but even before the first basket is made, witnessing work behind the scenes to prepare for the Summit League Tournament is enough to get floored about.
On Thursday, work crews brought the brand new basketball floor into the Sioux Falls Arena.
"The League is really excited! They're going to market the fact there's a new court for their tournament," Terry Torkildson, Sioux Falls Arena General Manager, said.
It came in 250 pieces - each 32 square feet. It took about three hours to snap and lock every piece into place to form the finished product for the big games.
"The first few times you put a court together, it kind of goes together a little different. The seams are all tight. You use a sledge hammer, just really carefully," Torkildson said.
A floor is just a floor, right? Well, this one comes from Connor Sports Flooring; a national company that has created floors for almost every major basketball tournament you can think of. Torkildson said it mike take some time, but assembly is not as complicated as one might think. It is basically the same process one would use to install certain types of hardwood floors in homes.
"Anytime you get something new like this, it's exciting. It's really going to add to the ambiance," Torkildson said. "This new one is going to be so much nicer. The look to it is going to be something unique that people have not seen before."
The nearly $100,000 maple floor is the first new court in 20 years for the Arena. It was manufactured in Michigan, and finished in Tennessee. It has been stained, rather than painted, and the decals are in place. When the 2013 Summit League Tournament is finished and part of the history books, the floor will go into storage and will be used in the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center."
"When it's time to move into the new building, we'll move it in," Torkildson said.
As Tip-off gets closer, and fan excitement builds, it is easy to give the credit to the basketball players. They do deserve some praise, after all. However, sometimes the team behind the scenes, in this case the one that installed a floor, is just as important as the ones front, and center court.
"Nice when you see it on TV and you're like, yeah, I did that. We do this. We're affiliated with these people. It's nice. You make a lot of friends along the way," Rob Rottier, Installation Technician, said.