'It's our Super Bowl'
Summit League tourney thrives in Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls is about to get its annual jolt of energy and commerce as the Summit League basketball tournaments return to the Denny Sanford Premier Center March 3-7.
The tournament first came to Sioux Falls in 2009. This year marks the 15th consecutive for Sioux Falls hosting the event which sends the men’s and women’s champions to the NCAA tournament.
When Sioux Falls was awarded the tournaments in 2009, there was no Denny Sanford Premier Center. The tournaments were played at the Arena, which today still stands adjacent to the Premier Center.
Despite not having the facilities that the Summit League now enjoys, early organizers had little doubt that Sioux Falls would be the perfect host for the tournaments.
Teri Schmidt, CEO of Experience Sioux Falls, joined a group from the Sioux Falls Sports Authority in 2007. They traveled to Tulsa, Okla., to watch the Summit League tournament and began preparations to make a bid to host the event.
“It was a nice facility, great people, but nobody was at the games,” Schmidt said of the 2007 tournament in Tulsa. “There was no doubt in our minds that Sioux Falls and the surrounding area would be crazy happy to have this tournament in town. We went into 2009 with great confidence that we could show the Summit League a great tournament.”
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