Director of SF Sports Authority Retires
by Breanna Fuss, Reporter
October 08, 2012 2:02 PM
The Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Sports Authority announced his retirement Monday.
For five years Mike Sullivan has helped reshape the face of sports in Sioux Falls.
"The timing is right. I think The Authority is established within the community of Sioux Falls. And I think it's a good time for me to move on,” said Mike Sullivan, Executive Director of Sioux Falls Sports Authority.
Mike Sullivan is what you could call the 'father' of the Sioux Falls Sports Authority, as he took on the executive director role when it first began five years ago.
The Sioux Falls Sports Authority is in charge of bringing sporting events to the city that will ultimately bring in money.
“Or anything that will be successful and good for the citizens of Sioux Falls,” said Sullivan.
One of those events is the Summit League Tournament.
“Last year was close to 45,000 people over the four days of the tournament. So it draws in quite a few. It had an economic impact of about four million dollars,” said Sullivan.
Teri Schmidt the Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitor Bureau said Sullivan has done more for the city then he will ever know.
“ Mike has been great about helping people understand the impact sporting events can have on a community,” said Teri Schmidt.
Schmidt said over the years Sullivan has brought several millions of dollars into the economy. She said she is sad to see him go and hopes the sports authority finds another just like him.
"Find a clone of Mike Sullivan, he's just done a great job,” said Schmidt.
But as his time comes to an end Sullivan recalls his favorite memory, of a Summit League Tournament nail biter.
“The very first one, which was highly successful, and North Dakota State scored on a last second shot to win the tournament. And of course fans mobbed the floor,” said Sullivan. “And it was just a tremendous scene.”
Sullivan said he looks forward to watching Sioux Falls, and the Sports Authority continue to grow.
“Its right on the cusp of being a tremendous sports destination,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan’s last day will be Dec. 31. He will be moving back to Florida to spend time with family, but he said he would be back in March to help with the upcoming Summit League Tournament.