Story by Mike Brown of Tulsa World Sports Extra
The Bixby Metro Chamber of Commerce is a finalist to host the 2013-14 Summit League basketball championships at the SpiritBank Event Center.
Summit League presidents meet Tuesday in Chicago and are expected to decide whether to keep their postseason tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D., for an additional two years.
It might be a tough choice. The event has drawn the three highest all-session attendance totals in league history in its first three years in Sioux Falls, with one more year scheduled under the current contract for 2012.
Corporate sponsorships are also at an all-time high. For the second straight year, the tournament raised $300,000 in sponsorships.
But some league administrators favor moving the tournament periodically so that no one school or group of schools permanently enjoys what amounts to a homecourt advantage.
South Dakota State’s campus in Brookings is about an hour’s drive from Sioux Falls, as is the University of South Dakota campus in Vermillion. USD becomes eligible for the tournament in 2013.
Meanwhile, insiders say Bixby’s bid for 2013-14 is extremely competitive.
“We were impressed by the Bixby presentation. They really stepped up to the plate,” Summit League commissioner Tom Douple said.
The tournament was last held in Tulsa at the Union Multipurpose Activity Center in 2005-08, under the Tulsa Sports Commission.
“We know that Sioux Falls has done a tremendous job of hosting the tournament,” said Lisa Navrkal, president and CEO of the Bixby Metro Chamber of Commerce. “But we’d like to see it back here in Tulsa.”
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