(Sioux Falls, SD/Burnsville, MN) – Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Commissioner Butch Raymond announced Tuesday that beginning in 2014 the league will move the NSIC/Sanford Health Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments to the Pentagon by Sanford Health in Sioux Falls.
The three-year agreement was signed today across the street from the under-construction Pentagon at the Sanford FIELDHOUSE at the Sanford Sports Complex.
“The NSIC aims to provide a tremendous student-athlete experience, and the Pentagon aligns with that goal,” said Raymond. “Our league has enjoyed a strong relationship with Sanford, and the city of Sioux Falls will undoubtedly be a great host community.”
Scheduled to open in the fall of 2013, the Pentagon is a 160,000-square-foot facility comprised of nine basketball courts (six high school regulation, two professional/college practice courts and the “heritage” court). While the entire facility features modern design and amenities, the heritage court located in the center of the building will pay homage to 1950s/1960s basketball.
The facility, as the name describes, is the shape of a pentagon. Floor space can be transitioned from basketball to accommodate 11 volleyball courts and also wrestling and cheer/dance events. The facility is focused on athletics, but will also serve other community needs.
The Pentagon is the center piece of the Sanford Sports Complex located along Westport Avenue between Benson Road and West 54th Street. The 162-acre complex is the home of the Sanford FIELDHOUSE and nine Junior Football fields. The Sioux Falls Ice Sports Association recently announced plans to construct the Scheels IcePlex. The Sioux Falls Tennis Association is also working to construct an indoor venue on site.
“This is a tremendous catch for a community rich in basketball history and one that so passionately follows the sport,” said Eric Larsen, general manager of the Sanford Sports Complex. “In addition to the obvious benefits for the Sioux Falls economy, we are thrilled to continue and strengthen a relationship with the top NCAA Division II athletic conference in the country.”
The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals of the 2014 NSIC/Sanford Health Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournaments will run March 1-4 at the Pentagon. The tournaments, which feature 16 women’s and 16 men’s teams, begin on Feb. 26 with first-round games at the top seeds from both the North and South divisions of the NSIC.
The NSIC is a 16-team, 18-sport, NCAA Division II Conference with teams located in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The NSIC has won three NCAA Division II national championships since 2006 and has sent men’s teams to the NCAA DII Elite 8 six of the past seven years, while women’s squads have advanced two of the last four years.