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State amateur tourney generates $50K in Sioux Falls

Canova fans watch the action during the Class B amateur baseball state tournament on Aug. 12, 2018 in Sioux Falls. (Matt Gade / Republic)

SIOUX FALLS—Despite a change in location, fans still flocked to the South Dakota Class B state amateur baseball tournament this year.

After a four-year stay in Mitchell, the 12-day and 32-team event was played at Augustana University's Ronken Field this year.

The new location still generated a successful year in gate receipts, according to the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Association. Herb Sundall, the SDABA secretary treasurer, said paid admission for the tournament was $50,411.

"A lot of that has to do with the teams that make the finals and so forth," Sundall said. "Overall, I think the commission was satisfied and pleased with Augustana hosting the tournament."

The figure was slightly down from last season's total of $54,126 at Mitchell's Cadwell Park. In 2016, the gate receipts totaled $63,395 and in 2015 it reached more than $65,000.

Sundall didn't want to speak for the entire commission, but he said Augustana did a fine job hosting and it could get back in the rotation down the road.

"I don't think they hurt themselves," Sundall said. "I wouldn't be opposed to going back there at some point in the future."

Sundall said the championship session was the best turnout. The final session brought in $5,766 in gate receipts, which was slightly up from last year's mark of $5,394 on the final day.

This year, there were local teams playing on Sunday, which helped the turnout. In the Class A championship, nearby Renner claimed its sixth straight title over Aberdeen Circus Sports Bar. In the Class B title game, baseball-crazed Canova defeated Flandreau.

Sundall praised the Canova Gang fans for packing the Ronken Field stands.

"Canova, you could play that in Pukwana and there would be Canova fans there," Sundall said. "I say that with admiration, quite frankly. I think it's just great that a town of 100 has the kind of following that they have. It's just great."

The tournament returns to Mitchell in 2019 and Sundall said the SDABA is looking forward to returning to Cadwell Park.

"As I have said several times before, Mitchell is like an old shoe, it's comfortable for everybody," he said.

The 2020 location is yet to be determined. Sundall said Mitchell, Huron and Vermillion have put in bids to host the 2020 tourney.