While reviews of the Denny Sanford Premier Center and the first two days of the Summit League Basketball Tournament have been positive, the tournament wasn’t always in such good standing.

Teri Ellis Schmidt with the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors’ Bureau recalls a trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma about a decade ago to the Summit League Championship, played in a small gym to a small crowd.

“There was literally so few people in the gymnasium watching the tournament, we wanted to whisper so our voices wouldn’t carry and people might hear us about what we could do better,” Ellis Schmidt said.

Now, she says the event is more than just a basketball tournament.

“Here, the place is packed!" Ellis Schmidt said. "Bringing a basketball tournament here, then like Sioux Falls does, the community rallies like none other. It isn’t just a basketball tournament, it’s a complete experience.”

Ellis Schmidt also said that Summit League and NCAA officials she’s talked with are pleased with the venue and how the tournament has operated.

Men’s and women’s semi-final games are Monday and the championships are Tuesday.

Ellis Schmidt made her comments on KSOO’s Main Street Café Monday morning.

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