Sioux Falls Gets NCAA Women’s Tournament Regional Games in 2016
The road to the women's Final Four will go through Sioux Falls in 2016.
The NCAA announcing the city as a regional site for the 2016 tournament, which ends in Indianapolis with the Final Four. Sioux Falls joins Bridgeport, CT, Dallas, and Lexington, KY as regional hosts.
Opening round games will be played at the home arenas of the tournament's top seeds.
NCAA officials said the city's history of supporting women's basketball, as well as the Denny Sanford Premier Center already playing host to the Division II Elite that year were all factors that led to the successful bid.
The announcement comes three days after the NCAA announced it was keeping the men's First Four games to the tournament in Dayton, Ohio, where they've been since 2011.
Sioux Falls had bid to host those games or any opening round games in the 2016, 2017, or 2018 tournaments.
After a press conference in Sioux Falls Thursday afternoon, the leaders of the Sioux Falls bid spoke to the media about the NCAA's announcement.
At that press conference, Tom Douple, the commissioner of the Summit League, and a member of the NCAA committee that awards championship events, said the NCAA had passed on Sioux Falls as a men's opening round site due to a lack of full service hotel space to host eight teams, opting instead to give the city a women's regional, which only involves four teams, and needs far less hotel space.
I asked the Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Sports Authority, Wes Hall, about the NCAA's announcement and Commissioner Douple's comments:
I also spoke with Commissioner Douple about the NCAA's announcement, bringing the women's regional to one Summit League city, before another conference city hosts the Final Four that same year:
Sioux Falls is already scheduled to host eight different NCAA Division II national championship events, starting in March of 2015.