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NCAA Reps Touring SF Sports Facilities

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One might say if you build it they will come, and that seems to be the case for Sioux Falls. The National Collegiate Athletic Association or NCAA was in town Monday scouting numerous athletic facilities to possibly hold tournaments.

Three thousand bids were placed for 300 NCAA tournaments across the nation.
Wes Hall, Executive Director of Sioux Falls Sports Authority said, “To have them in town doing a site visit at this point is a good sign for the bid process."
Hall said he put in 19 bids for the city, ranging from basketball to wrestling. Now, NCAA representatives are seeing if Sioux Falls could host one of those tournaments.

"They've taken a tour of the Sanford Pentagon and the field house,” said Hall.

They also went to Augustana College and the University of Sioux Falls' track facilities. Then the representatives got their own sneak peek of the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

Monday's tour came after a lot of hard work in a short amount of time. Hall said in April the NCAA announced the bid cycle then in July the actual bidding began.  

“Then we had to have them all in by Sept. 16, complete with budgets, marketing plans and logistics, and building diagrams," Hall explained.
Hall also had to get a ticket scalping ordinance in place, which is a requirement for a hosting city.

Terry Torkildson, General Manager of SMG said, "When the Summit League first came here and saw this building (the arena), they really couldn't believe that we could do what they expected us to do; now it's the most successful thing they've done."

Torkildson said he hopes the NCAA sees that success too.

"It’s a great facility. With the combination of the convention center and the new events center space, it gives us things a lot of buildings don't have," Torkildson said.

Regardless if we get all 19 bids, one or maybe even none, Hall said the entire process has put Sioux Falls on the map.

"Anything we thought we could host here successfully, we put a bid in for," Hall said.

City leaders will find out in November how many bids the city is a finalist for. Then in December, officials will find out what Sioux Falls will host if it’s chosen.

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