COPY-NAIA tournament boosts business throughout Sioux City
The NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Championship has been in Sioux City for 19 years.
This year there has been an increase in ticket sales.
"I think it's just the sheer number of Great Plains athletic conference teams," said Erika Newton, executive director of the Tyson Events Center. "I think we have six of them in the tournament this year. So it was more than we've ever had before."
Newton says last year there were 443 week long tickets sold and this year there were 505.
With those sales come sales outside of the Tyson Events Center as well.
Those include local hotels where players from outside the region stay.
"It fills the hotel up," said Austin Edwards, manager at the Stoney Creek Conference Center."You know we have a lot of friends, family of the team that come in, coaches, other staff for the NAIA. But all the hotels downtown and the area really benefit."
The Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center, just a few blocks from the tournament has three out-of-state teams staying at the hotel.
Staff say all of their rooms have been booked since Monday.
And hotels aren't the only ones benefiting.
One downtown Sioux City restaurant owner says she gets to see some familiar faces every year at the NAIA tournament. And she says, she likes to leave them with a taste of home each time.
"We like to give them the taste of some home cooking so when they're traveling it's not all you know, fast food and whatever they might have," said Julie Schoenherr, owner of Soho Kitchen & Bar. "And then we always try to treat them to homemade cookies or desserts or something so they feel like they're eating something from mom still."
Soho Kitchen & Bar on Sioux City's historic 4th street, has seen a 15 percent increase in dinner customers since Wednesday.
Along with helping out local businesses, the tournament puts a mark on Sioux City on the national level.
Along with week long ticket sales, the Tyson also saw an increase in single ticket sales for the first day of the tournament from last year.