Another Big Year for Summit League Tournament Attendance in Sioux Falls
When the Summit League moved their men's and women's basketball tournaments from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Sioux Falls in 2009, they knew it was a gamble. But that gamble continues to pay off in a very big way.
This year's Summit League Basketball Championship set ten attendance marks in its second year at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. In the last two years, the tournament has set a total of 21 records for ticket sales.
Both the men’s and women’s championship games, tournaments and the combined total set new standards. In total, the combined attendance for the entire event (men’s and women’s) was 65,533, surpassing the previous record set last season by over 5,000.
Tuesday’s women’s championship game set a new record at 8,647 and pushed the women’s tournament total to 28,872, eclipsing the previous record set last season by over 4,000.
On day one, both the men’s and women’s quarterfinals set new all-time Summit League attendance standards. The men’s draw of 10,306 was not only the highest for the round, but marked the top figure for any session in the event’s 32 years. With a crowd of 9,816, the women’s quarterfinal was the highest attended women’s tournament session and ranked as the third-largest of any men’s or women’s session in league history.
According to Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple:
The remarkable turnout at our tournament raises the bar higher and higher each year. said . In our first year at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, we set 11 attendance records and we followed that up with nearly the same number in year two. The support is truly amazing, especially on the women’s side, where we have become a fixture at the top of the NCAA attendance charts.
Saturday’s figure at The Summit League Women’s Tournament leads the nation for highest quarterfinal round and ranks as the most-attended session of any women’s tournament through March 7.
Records Set at the 2016 Summit League Tournament
· Men’s Quarterfinal Session I (10,306)
· Women’s Quarterfinal Session I (9,816)
· Men’s Quarterfinal Round (16,738)
· Men’s Championship Session/Round (10,188)
· Women’s Quarterfinal Round (12,988)
· Women’s Semifinal/Round (7,237)
· Women’s Championship Session/Round (8,647)
· Men’s Total Tournament (36,661)
· Women’s Total Tournament (28,872)
· Combined Men’s/Women’s Total Tournament (65,533)
South Dakota State's men and women won the 2016 titles and will represent the Summit League with automatic bids into the NCAA Tournament.