Preparations get underway at the Sioux Falls Arena on Thursday for the Summit League Basketball Tournament.
We spoke with Terry Torkildson, the General Manager of the Sioux Falls Arena. He says now that the Sioux Falls Arena has been hosting this tournament for a few years in a row they've gotten very comfortable with it. He says they bring in about the same staff as they would for a state tournament but the Sports Authority does bring in a lot of volunteers to help.
The brand new basketball court goes in Thursday and setup for the event will begin on Friday. The tournament is held March 9-12th at the Sioux Falls Arena. Torkildson says we can also expect more parking to be available this year, even with the construction of the new Events Center going on. "The perception people have is that it's taking up a large amount of parking but that's where the entrances were for the west side of the complex. The majority of the area that's taken up is green space and roadway so it didn't impact a lot of parking," Torkildson said.
Additional parking options will be available for the Summit League Basketball Tournament and the Sioux Empire Home Show at the Sioux Falls Arena and Convention Center. In addition to on-site parking, additional parking is available at McCart Park on Western Avenue, three blocks south of the Arena and Convention Center, as well as at Elmwood Golf Course on Russell Street, northwest of the venue.
Shuttles will run to and from McCart Park and Elmwood Golf Course from 9:00a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday, March 8th and Saturday, March 9th, and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10th. There is no charge for parking or for the shuttle service. Drop off and pick up points at McCart and Elmwood, as well as at the Arena/Convention Center, will be marked.
Keep in mind street parking is available in many locations:
On the Frontage Road on the north side of Russell Street directly north of the Arena/Convention Center;
On the Frontage Road on the south side of Russell Street northwest of the Arena/Convention Center;
On Madison Street, as well as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Streets, south of the Arena/Convention Center;
And on several side streets east of the Arena/Convention Center.
Additional parking also is available Saturday and Sunday in the Sioux Falls School District's Operational Services lot directly west of the Arena/Convention Center.
The Arena configuration for the Summit League Tournament holds 6300 people. The Saturday night event featuring the SDSU and USD men's teams, is sold out. You're encouraged to get your tickets soon especially for the night games. Organizers also suggest carpooling if you can. "Last year we had several ones sold out and we have just over 30,000 people that attended all events. This year I think we will surpass that by several thousand," Torkildson said.
This will be USD's first year in the tournament. SDSU's women have won the tournament the past four years and the Jackrabbit men won the tournament last year.
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