SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Businesses are reopening across Sioux Falls and live sports are starting to make a comeback.
Both will be on display this weekend when the Sanford Pentagon hosts a youth basketball tournament.
The first tournament of the summer will run June 20-21 and feature 77 teams from three different states including players in grades 5-11.
The Pentagon knows that hosting a basketball tournament during a pandemic means there will be a lot of guidelines for teams and fans to follow.
“The main thing for us internally is communication. We’ll need to watch this on a day-by-day basis,” said Steve Young, President of Sanford Sports. “The most important thing with this tournament is to limit the amount of fans, so that we can social distance.”
Each team will be allowed to bring 32 total people; that includes players and coaches.
“We arrived at that number because we expect around ten players per team, so two fans per player is thirty and then two coaches is 32,” Young said. “We had a lot of thought when arriving to that number.”
The Sanford Pentagon is 160,000 square feet, meaning there will be a lot of room for fans and teams.
“The most important thing about this weekend’s tournament is that our fans will be able to social distance,” Young said. “We will be below ten percent capacity the entire weekend, which allows for fans to distance themselves.”
Six of the nine courts will be used, which will allow the other three courts to be used for fans, coaches and players to social distance before and after games.
Social distancing is the Pentagon’s top priority, so there won’t be any bleachers for the fans.
Fans are encouraged to bring a bag chair so that they have a place to sit during the game.
The Pentagon has come up with a list of 26 guidelines/procedures that fans, players and coaches will have to follow this weekend. Click on the link below to see the list of guidelines:
The Sanford Pentagon will have a manager on duty to assist fans, but to also enforce social distancing.
One thing that isn’t required is masks as organizers believe the facility is large enough to support social distancing as a mitigation effort.
Young and the Pentagon have been planning this tournament for a while and they know the fans will be able to follow the guidelines.
“We ask the fans to be respectful and patient. It is going to take longer to come into the building,” Young said. “It has been a while since we did something like this, so we ask the fans and teams just to be patient with us.”
One of the guidelines for this weekend’s tournament is that all people entering the building will be screened upon arrival.
That means that each patron will have their temperature taken, and if they have a temp of more than 100, then they will be denied entry.
While it will take longer to screen people into the building, the Pentagon has set up time slots for each team to arrive to avoid long lines in the entrance.
While safety is a priority, Young knows that the kids need this opportunity to get back on the court.
“Our biggest goal is to find ways to create an environment for young athletes to do what they want to do,” Young said. “These kids want to play sports again and we’re trying to help them do that.”
This tournament is just one of several tournaments that will run this summer at the Pentagon, which means it will be an example for the rest of the summer.
“I think people are ready for this and we are as well,” Young said. “Let’s at least be cognizant that there are some risks and be smart about it.”
You can see a full list of tournaments at the Sanford Pentagon this summer by clicking on the link below: