- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The Sioux Falls economy received an $8.5 million boost from the recent Summit League men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

A report from the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Sioux Falls Sports Authority calculates about $4.5 million in direct sales and about $4 million in indirect sales. The figures take into account taxes, lodging, transportation, food, entertainment, shopping, organizer spending and media coverage.

“When we first went to Sioux Falls seven or eight years ago, our goal was to create a win-win situation,” League Commissioner Tom Douple told the Argus Leader newspaper (http://argusne.ws/1tBA5xm ). The $8.52 million estimate shows the tournaments’ value to the city, and “it is obviously a win for our league. It has become a great tournament.”

The report also bolsters efforts to bring more high-profile sporting events to South Dakota’s largest city, said Wes Hall, executive director of the Sioux Falls Sports Authority.

The Summit League Championships in March drew 37,304 fans to the Sioux Falls Arena. North Dakota State won the men’s tournament and the University of South Dakota won the women’s championship. Both teams secured spots in the NCAA Tournament field with their league titles.

Next year’s league championships will be held at the new Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, which will have a seating capacity of 12,000 for basketball, compared with 8,000 in the Sioux Falls Arena.

“We can grow (the tournament). That’s the thing,” Douple said. “Moving into the new arena, it’s going to get better and better.”

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com