Since moving to Sioux Falls in 2009, the Summit League basketball tournament has been a big win for the Sioux Falls Sports Authority, and it's nothing but net for the community, as in net profit.
"We're excited; it is a big deal for Sioux Falls. We continue to do wonderful things for the tournament. The league loves it here. So, we think it will be here for a while," Mike Sullivan with the Sioux Falls Sports Authority said.
Sullivan estimates the tournament fills 2,000 hotel rooms across the city over its four days. Overall, the economic impact is estimated at $2 million. This year's tournament is the final event on the contract. But a new contract keeps the tournament at the Sioux Falls Arena through 2014.
"Some people are always going to say there's something wrong with your city or it gives the home team an advantage or whatever the case may be. But, if we make the league happy, if they have a good experience and the fans have a good experience, I don't think the league will move it out of here," Sullivan said.
Sullivan says the tournament could have an even bigger impact starting next year when the University of South Dakota is tournament eligible. Then, he says it could take another big step if Sioux Falls gets the contract to continue hosting in 2015, in a new facility.
"We think it will be even bigger than that once we get the new events center built, if the tournament is still here. We're pretty excited about that. We can just do bigger and better things, not only for the tournament but for the league itself," Sullivan said.
But before planners focus on that, they're busy preparing for this year's tournament which is quickly approaching.
The tournament takes a list of volunteers to help make it run smoothly. However there is already a waiting list of volunteers ready to help. This year's tournament will also have expanded coverage on national television.
Summit League Basketball Tournament Details:
• Where: Sioux Falls Arena
• When: March 3-6, 2012
|Men's or Women's Final||$11.00||$16.00|
|Box Office:||Mon.-Fri. 10 AM - 5 PM||605-360-8460|