Summit League Tournament Before Sioux Falls
The Summit League made a smart decision when it moved its yearly league tournament to Sioux Falls.
Before moving the Summit League tournament to the Sioux Falls Arena and eventually the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, the Union Multipurpose Activities Center, otherwise known as John Q. Hammons Arena, hosted the yearly tournament in March.
From the 2004-05 season through the 2007-08 season, the Summit League tournament called Tulsa, Okla., home.
What makes this old Summit League setup interesting is that Oral Roberts is located in Tulsa, Okla. In order to avoid a "homecourt" advantage--Oral Roberts plays at the Mabee Center--Union Public Schools' activities center played host to an NCAA Division I tournament that decided who would make the NCAA tournament.
The UMAC average capacity limit is 5,662 seats. It's centercourt video board is 6-by-8-feet in size.
Comparatively, the Sioux Falls Arena holds 7,500 seats (6,113 seats for basketball), and it's video board is 9.5-by-20-feet in size. Plus, with Daktronics being so close, the Sioux Falls Arena typically used high-definition video boards hanging from centercourt.
The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center is even bigger and better in capacity, space and amenities.
Moving the Summit League tournament from Tulsa, Okla., to Sioux Falls, S.D., was one of the smartest decisions the Summit League made. Extending the tournament through 2022 was even smarter.
Summit League tournament attendance skyrocketed in Sioux Falls, S.D. In Sioux Falls' first year hosting the Summit League tournament, it beat the attendance numbers from Tulsa, Okla., in both the men and women's competitions.
Summit League tournament attendance numbers have doubled since Sioux Falls' first year hosting back in 2009.
Making the move from Tulsa, Okla., proved to have a major impact on tournament results, too. While the UMAC hosted the Summit League tournament, Oral Roberts won the men and women's tournament a total of six times.
In Sioux Falls, the story is flipped. South Dakota State's women claimed the Summit League tournament seven times while the Jackrabbit men won the league title on three occasions. The South Dakota women also won the Summit League tournament once.
The Summit League found a comfortable home in Sioux Falls, S.D. Based on how the tournament panned out in past locations, I'd say Sioux Falls can expect to see Summit League action in March for many years to come.
Source: The Summit League