Sioux Falls Awarded Eight NCAA Division II National Championship Events
The post season sports calendar in Sioux Falls is about to get a lot busier in the next few years, as the city has been awarded eight different NCAA Division II national championship events starting in 2015.
The NCAA announcing Division II championship sites thru 2018, and Sioux Falls grabbing events in four different sports: basketball, outdoor track & field, volleyball, and wrestling.
Wes Hall, Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Sports Authority, says it’s a big day for the city:
In all, Sioux Falls bid on 19 Division I and II events. Hall says finally having the facilities to host national tournaments was the key component that had been missing:
The Sanford Pentagon will host the majority of the events, beginning with the women’s basketball Elite Eight in March 2015. The facility will also host the 2016 women’s championship, the 2017 men’s championship, and the first-ever combined men’s – women’s tournaments in 2018.
The Pentagon will also be home to the 2016 women’s volleyball tournament.
The 12,000 seat Denny Sanford Premier Center will host the 2016 national wrestling tournament. The facility will open in the fall of 2014, and was built in the hopes of landing more national sporting events.
The University of Sioux Falls Lillibridge Track and Field Complex will host the 2018 Division II outdoor track & field championships.
As important as the facilities are to the process, Hall said the role of the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau and the business community all played a role in landing these events:
Sioux Falls does not have any experience hosting NCAA championship events, but the Sioux Falls Arena has played host to the men’s and women’s Summit League basketball tournaments in Division I since 2009 to rave reviews from fans, players, coaches, and administrators. Hall says the success of the Summit League Tournament was another key to securing the Division II bids.
And while Sioux Falls was unsuccessful in landing any of the Division I events they bid on this time around, Hall says hosting these Division II events could be the key to eventually bringing some of those bigger events to town in the future:
The calendar of events:
2015 DII Women’s Basketball: March 27, 28 & 30 (Sanford Pentagon)
2016 DII Women’s Basketball: March 22, 23, &25 (Sanford Pentagon)
2016 DII Wrestling: March 11-12 (Denny Sanford Premier Center)
2016 DII Women’s Volleyball: December 8-10 (Sanford Pentagon)
2017 DII Men’s Basketball: March 22, 23 & 25 (Sanford Pentagon)
2018 DII Outdoor Track and Field: May 24-26 (USF Lillibridge Track and Field Complex)
2018 DII Women’s Basketball: March 27, 28 & 30 (Sanford Pentagon)
2018 DII Men’s Basketball: March 28, 29 & 31 (Sanford Pentagon)
A total of 1,948 bids were received by the NCAA as part of the site-selection effort.