SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – There are so many players here all dressed up just celebrating the start of the NAIA Women’s Volleyball National Tournament.
I’ve spoken to numerous players who say just getting to compete on Tuesday is a huge honor.
Each year, Sioux city welcomes these girls with open arms and businesses couldn’t more excited for their arrival as well.
“It’s really cold. It’s really dry, but it’s honestly really beautiful and we really like coming here every year,” said Avery Ridgeway, Corban University Warriors.
The top 32 volleyball teams in the country are in Sioux City gearing up to compete on Tuesday.
“There is a lot of excitement that goes on just in the community. It’s NAIA week. There is a huge tradition of the tournament right here in Sioux City,” said Enzo Carannante, assistant general manager for Tyson Event Center.
For 12 years now, Sioux City has embraced NAIA Women’s Volleyball and the players have continued to support Sioux City.
“We went to the Brightside cafe and it was really good and they were really sweet. And we are staying at a really nice hotel, the Marriot. It’s super luxurious, so that’s really cool too,” said Ridgeway.
Organizers say the restaurants have been busy since the girls came to town.
“I was at a local restaurant [Monday] and it’s full because if a team goes out to eat that’s a lot of people in a restaurant, and, of course, 32 teams and hotels is a lot of hotels. Sioux City has embraced it and really looks forward to having them here and that’s a win-win relationship,” said Corey Westra, co-tournament director, NAIA volleyball.
“I think it’s a great thing for the community. It brings all the travelers and their families and they all go out to eat stay in the hotels and it brings a lot more business around the town,” said Jesse Miller, owner of Table 32.
Ultimately, the tournament is about the players, but Sioux City also has a lot to gain.
“The fan experience, the athlete experience, it’s just a great well-rounded opportunity that we have here to come to Sioux City. With the tournament, we estimate an $11 million economic impact, so it’s a great quality of life opportunity for the community,” said Carannante.