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Summit League hoops tourneys stay in Sioux Falls

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SIOUX FALLS (AP) -- The Summit League and the Sioux Falls Sports Authority have reached an agreement to keep the league's basketball tournaments in South Dakota's largest city at least through 2017.

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The agreement includes a mutual option for five more years that could keep the tournaments in Sioux Falls through 2022.

The tournaments have been held in the city since 2009. Attendance at this year's men's and women's tournaments set a record, with 40,269 fans attending games over four days in March.

"This long-term agreement is a testament to the great support that the community of Sioux Falls has shown for our marquee event," League Commissioner Tom Douple said in announcing the deal Tuesday evening.

The Sioux Falls Arena will host the tournaments for two more years before they move to the $117 million Denny Sanford Events Center under construction. The new facility will have 12,000 seats, nearly double the basketball seating capacity at the existing arena.

"Six years ago, The Sioux Falls Sports Authority set our sights on bringing national and international sporting events to Sioux Falls. The Summit League basketball tournament delivered on that promise," said Kevin Lampe, chairman of the Sioux Falls Sports Authority Board. "With this event comes national television and media exposure for our great community that will reach millions of sports fans across the nation for the next five years."

The suburban-Chicago-based Summit League has NCAA Division I members in both Dakotas, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Nebraska.

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