SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Summit League men’s and women’s conference basketball tournament has an economic impact “in the millions” in Sioux Falls, said Terri Schmidt, the executive director of the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The total annual economic impact varies, partly because of who is playing, Schmidt said.

Having the South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota men’s and women’s basketball teams in the Summit League Tournament has an upside and a possible downside when it comes to economic impact in the city of Sioux Falls.

The men’s and women’s from SDSU and USD are in the conference tournament again this year. Based on attendance figures from the Summit League and the NCAA, when those teams are in the tournament, tickets sale do much better than when they aren’t.

But both teams are roughly an hour from Sioux Falls and have a fan base in eastern South Dakota, which means they may not be staying in motels in order to watch games. Instead it may be possible to travel to and from games.

Although a winter storm negatively impacted attendance in 2019, the semifinals in the men’s bracket did not include SDSU or USD, which have some of the highest attendance for men’s home games in the conference. 

Teams who travel a greater distance may have fans who stay longer in local motels, Schmidt said.

A final four competitor, NDSU drew 29,003 fans to home games in 2019. Another, UNO, drew 26,788 home fans. The final four also included Western Illinois and Purdue Fort Wayne.

Western Illinois drew 6,061 home fans in 2019. Purdue Fort Wayne drew 21,906.

Lots of ticket sales does translate into an economic boost for the city, Schmidt said. Ticket sales have generated at least $800,000 in taxes for the city, Schmidt said.

The city of Sioux Falls has collected $466,165 in sales tax from ticket sales since 2009, Schmidt said.

The city has received another $387,164 in a facility surcharge tax on ticket sales, she said.

The Sioux Falls Sports Authority has received a total of $1,510,302.93 in profit from the tournament over the past 11 years, Schmidt said.