Sioux Falls could soon be on the national stage in college athletics. The city is now a finalist to host NCAA Division II national championships in five events from 2015 to 2018.
"Very excited. I think we would've been excited regardless if it was one event or it was five as it was, just the opportunity, just really excited," Sioux Falls Sports Authority Executive Director Wes Hall said.
The city is in the running to host men's basketball, women's basketball, men's and women's outdoor track and field, women's volleyball and wrestling. If Sioux Falls is selected for any sport, it would be a first for the city.
"It means a lot to our community just to bring a prestigious event like that to Sioux Falls. Bids come in from all over the country for these," Sanford Sports Complex General Manager Eric Larsen said.
"They had told us it's going to be a stretch to bring a national championship to a city and a region that has never hosted before, and understandably so," Hall said.
Both Hall and Larsen were on the committee that met with the NCAA, and they feel that what they said in Indianapolis was enough to put Sioux Falls in the national championship picture.
"We told them, 'Look, we didn't bid on events that we thought we'd fail at. Everything we bid on we can guarantee you a success,'" Hall said.
"We had to sell Sioux Falls. We had to sell our facilities and we had to sell the people of Sioux Falls and sell that they would support these tournaments and events that we were bidding on," Larsen said.
The hosts of each championship event will be announced on December 11, and until then, any small concern the NCAA brought up will be taken care of.
"We'll look at other little things that we may be able to add to our bids that we haven't thought of and just talk to the NCAA about that to try to make ourselves look as strong as possible," Hall said.
One thing both Hall and Larsen mentioned to the NCAA is that at any other site, these events would be lost in the shuffle, but the city of Sioux Falls would make them the focus of the entire region.