A tour through Sioux Falls

Comparing NCAA Div. 2 Elite Eight host city Sioux Falls to Big Rapids

The Sanford Pentagon Arena hosted both the 2017 and 2018 NCAA Div. 2 Men’s Basketball Elite Eight. Photo by: Keith Salowich | Web Supervisor

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

  • Population of approximately 174,360 people
  • Area of 73.5 square miles
  • Settled in 1856
  • Home to the University of Sioux Falls with an enrollment of 1,257 students and Augustana University with an enrollment of 1,871 students
  • Largest city in South Dakota by population
  • Attractions include: The Great Plains Zoo, Falls Park surrounding the Big Sioux River falls and the Kirby Science Discovery Center
  • Average January temperature of 16.6 degrees Fahrenheit and average July temperature of 73 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fun fact: Forbes Magazine named Sioux Falls the “No. 1 Place for Business and Careers” five years in a row between 2005-2009. 

Big Rapids, Michigan

  • Permanent population of approximately 10,500 people
  • Area of 4.5 square miles
  • Settled in 1855
  • Home to Ferris State University with an enrollment of 14,187 students
  • 189th largest city in Michigan by population
  • Attractions include: Muskegon River, Hemlock Park and the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorbilia
  • Average January temperature of 28 degrees Fahrenheit and average July temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fun fact: Big Rapids was named the “No. 5 Best City for College Hockey Fans” in a national survey. 

Sanford Pentagon Arena in Sioux Falls

  • Opened September, 2013
  • Maximum capacity of 3,250
  • Construction cost: $19 million
  • Hosted the NCAA Div. 2 men’s basketball Elite Eight in 2017 and 2018 and hosted the NCAA Div. 2 women’s basketball Elite Eight in 2015, 2016 and 2018
  • Home court of the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA’s D-League
  • Contains nine basketball courts including the Heritage Court in the center of the Pentagon, which is modeled from courts of the 1950s. All games during the 2018 Elite Eight Tournament were played on Heritage Court. 
  • 160,000 square feet

Click here for more coverage of the Bulldogs’ journey through the Elite Eight and beyond.