Sioux Falls, South Dakota is giving a pair of Wisconsin teams a chance to play in their new facility. The city of Sioux Falls lies just across the state-line from Minnesota. Sioux Falls will host a pair of games featuring the Milwaukee Bucks and the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team in the newly built Sanford Pentagon. The $19 million venue is scheduled to be completed over the summer, and will become one of the premier basketball complexes in the country.
The Sioux Falls Skyforce (part of the NBA’s Development League,) is the primary partner in the building’s construction. Affiliated with the Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Orlando Magic, the team will play home games on the Pentagon’s Heritage Court.
Just one of nine floors housed in the building, the Heritage Court will also play host to the Badgers and Bucks in October and November. With just over 3,000 seats, the attendance in the Pentagon will be less then what the teams are used to, though fans are already eager to sell-out the games.
The Bucks are the first to travel to South Dakota, facing the Timberwolves in an exhibition match on October 10th. Minnesota has played in Sioux Falls five times in franchise history, most recently in 2010 at the Sioux Falls Arena. 2013’s game was facilitated mostly by the Skyforce’s relationship with the professional team, and the pairing with Milwaukee was meant to keep fans within the Midwest from traveling too far.
Wisconsin’s visit to its neighbor two-states over was initiated through former player, now staff, Joe Krabbenhoft. A Sioux Falls native, Krabbenhoft’s father Kelby is CEO of Sanford Health, the Pentagon’s main funding source. The St. Johns Red Storm will meet the Badgers on November 8th for the first-ever college game played at the venue. This will also be the season opener for both teams. The pair have not met since the Badgers bested St. Johns in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Tournament, and Wisconsin is undefeated in the four overall meetings between the two.
A national network is expected to broadcast the November 8thWisconsin game, though negotiations for the rights have not been completed. Tip-off times have also not been announced.
October 10th – Milwaukee Bucks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
November 8th – Wisconsin Badgers vs. St. Johns Red Storm