AA Boys Basketball Tournament is an economic boost for businesse - KOTA Territory News

AA Boys Basketball Tournament is an economic boost for businesses


The AA Boys Basketball Tournament is underway in Rapid City. For businesses it's not just a game. It's a multi-million dollar economic boost.      

Based on ticket sales from the last double a tournament rapid city hosted, the economic impact from indirect spending is about $5 million. So the business community is excited.

It's the start of the AA Boys Basketball Tournament. Cole Benson and his Sioux Falls teammates watch other teams play.  

"We've all been enjoying it but we'll be ready to play," said Benson, a Junior at Washington High School in Sioux Falls.

It's not just the teams and fans who are enjoying it, businesses benefit from the tournament as well.  

"We know what those events do for our local economy in the off season for tourism, which is that February–March time of year. This tournament is extremely important for the hotels, the restaurants, the local businesses," said Domico Rodriguez, the Director of Sports and Events at the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Home teams feel all the encouragement. 

"I think it just creates a lot of excitement around our team this year, we had a pretty good year but being in Rapid City I think it just boosts the support for our team," said Matthew Wilson, a Senior at Stevens High School.

Businesses are happy the tournament is here, and they are welcoming teams from across the state.

"So hopefully the local business community and Rapid City as a whole roles out the red carpet and shows these people that we really know and appreciate their business," said Rodriguez.  

Many players families are staying at the Hotel Alex Johnson.  

"The basketball tournaments here in Rapid City, they affect the whole city," said Wade Lampert, General Manager of the Hotel Alex Johnson.

Last year there was talk of moving the tournament to Sioux Falls.  

"That would be a real devastating effect to the area this time of year because we do look forward to the basketball tournaments both the boys and the girls being held here. And then the rotation that they currently do. So if that moved permanently to Sioux Falls it would hurt all the communities that host these tournaments," said Lampert.

But this year the tournament is in Rapid City.  

"I don't foresee any changes in the near future but it is always there; it is always going to be there," said Rodriguez.

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