Sanford Pentagon prepares for DI college basketball
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Sanford Pentagon is once again hosting some of the best college basketball teams in the nation this winter and in a year haunted by a pandemic, Pentagon staff says they are committed to everyone’s safety.
10 Division I college basketball teams from across the country are set to compete at the Pentagon over the next 2 months, bringing national exposure to Sioux Falls.
“A significant amount of awareness, or who we are, we’re in the upper Midwest. I’ve had this happen a lot where people say ‘What is in Sioux Falls?’ As you saw last week with the announcement of the crossover, I think there was near 500 stories written nationwide,” said President of Sanford Sports Steve Young.
The Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic is in late November, including eight-teams from scattered conferences. An event that Sanford Sports is hoping can inspire youth across South Dakota.
“I think it does a lot because it brings awareness to the sport, and it puts it on a stage where they get a chance to watch it with mom and dad over the holidays or on a Saturday morning. They get a chance to expose themself to a dream that maybe they have someday,” Young added.
Basketball continues in December with two unofficial preseason top-5 teams facing off in Sioux Falls, #1 Gonzaga and #5 Iowa. The Hawkeye’s are returning to Sioux Falls after playing at the pentagon in 2017.
“To establish yourself on a national level you have to play people and the atmosphere up there, there’s not a whole lot that are better. The facility itself, the professionals with the people that run it, the atmosphere,” said Iowa Head Basketball Coach Fran McCaffery.
With these events, team safety is a top priority, “They’ll be basically in a bubble at their hotel room or the Pentagon and that’s going to be their routine for their journey here when they come. It’s going to be travel, get tested, hotel, Pentagon, hotel, Pentagon that’s going to be the best we can do,” said Young.
Pentagon Officials say these games will have limited fan capacity, and as of right now they’re still determining what that’s going to look like.
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