SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A professional sports team is coming to Rapid City with the Rapid City Marshalls joining the Champions Indoor Football League. But they’re not the first team to call the city home. In this week’s Flashback Friday, we take you back to 1987 with KELOLAND’S Perry Groten when a semi-pro basketball team moved to the Black Hills.
The team has yet to play a game here, but already it’s lighting up downtown scoreboards, welcoming the Black Hills Thrillers. This weekend’s announcement that the Continental Basketball Association team would move here from Tampa, Florida was made possible by some thirty local business people, who pooled about $150,000 to purchase part of the franchise. Many of whom admitted to not knowing much about basketball.
“Some we had to explain that its a round ball, its brown and you know. I think what we shared in common was the desire to help cause something positive to happen.”
Team officials point out that many of their players go on to play in the National Basketball Association, but Rapid City officials expect to see some big league results. For the Civic Center, the Thrillers new home, it will mean about thirty extra days usage. For local businesses it could mean many new customers.
“I think it provides a reason for people from parts of Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, and other parts of South Dakota to come into Rapid City and spend some time and spend some money.”
For the team to be a success, officials say it must average 2,500 fans for each game. They’ll begin to find out just how thrilled local residents are about the Thrillers when they play their first game March 18th. Perry Groten, KELOLAND News, Rapid City.