Sioux Falls Sports Authority and CVB Get Big NCAA Wins
Excited is an understatement for the ones involved in capturing the NCAA Division 2 Championship bids for the city of Sioux Falls. “We did it!” came the exclamation from Teri Schmidt Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “We put in 19 bids and we came out with 8 tournaments and to be honest we are thrilled.”
For the CVB it is new business for the city and millions of dollars to the community when these people arrive for tournament time. Schmidt estimates the number of people flowing through Sioux Falls would peak at 15,000 for the wrestling tournament, 10,000 people for Men’s Basketball, 6,000 spectators for Women’s Basketball, Women’s Volleyball and around 5,000 people for the Outdoor Track and Field Championships on the low end.
What could really raise the Sioux Falls profile is the combined Men’s and Women’s Division 2 Basketball Elite Eight tournament. Wes Hall Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Sports Authority says it’s unique to the NCAA but not with Sioux Falls. Hall expects positive results from the experiment. “This is something the NCAA has never done before. We approached them with this potential idea during the initial bid process, letting them know that we do this every year in the Summit League and starting in the spring of next year we’ll be doing it with the Northern Sun Basketball championships. It builds a great deal of enthusiasm to have both men’s and women’s play at the same location and the same time. It helps attendance figures and financially I think it helps there as well.”
Schmidt thinks what played a significant part in the effort was the concept of teamwork. “It was clear to the NCAA that the city of Sioux Falls had come together as a community. Everybody who had a stake in this put their own interest aside. We went in with a very committed, strong desire to host these events and I really believe the NCAA knew that.” Now we know that Sioux Falls will be the home of national champions.