Denny Sanford Premier Center – Sioux Falls Storm
Photos by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Denny Sanford Premier Center 1021 N W Ave Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Year Opened: 2014
Sioux Falls Indoor Gridiron
Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the multipurpose Denny Sanford Premier Center is home to both a junior hockey team and an arena football team, namely the Sioux Falls Storm of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Opened in 2014 and built for $117 million, the venue holds 14,000 for concerts but only 10,600 for football, as the top tier is curtained off during Storm contests.
Food & Beverage 4
Denny Sanford Premier Center has a wide range of concession options, which are available at the typically inflated prices seen at most professional venues. Fans can choose from Philly cheesesteaks (including a mini version for a lower price), burgers, chicken tenders, hot dogs, and pizza, as well as popcorn, cotton candy, fries, packaged candy, pretzels, nachos, and a huge range of ice cream flavors.
There aren’t any main stands selling everything, so fans just need to walk around and find the stand which has what they want, for example, Boss’ pizza, Family Treats for ice cream, or Fat Kid Fillys for a cheesesteak. Bottled and fountain sodas (Pepsi products), bottled water, Gatorade, and both draft and canned beer are also available – canned beer can be purchased at just about any stand, while draft beer can be purchased from one of the bars on the concourse.
The Sioux Falls Storm offers some great entertainment for fans in attendance besides the product on the field – these include the Lightning Girls dance team, the polar bear mascot Blitz (born in Canada and then homeschooled), and games for the kids like turf bowling. The lights are turned off before the team takes the field, and the spotlights come on to highlight the Lightning Girls’ opening routine, followed by Blitz riding into the stadium on a motorcycle.
The staff also has different promotions and special events, for example at the game I most recently attended they had national guardsmen repel down from the ceiling during pregame. You can also purchase a bag of mini footballs for $5, which at the end of the third quarter fans throw onto the field, trying to get them into a bucket to win a prize.
Denny Sanford Premier Center is part of the Sioux Falls Convention Center, and there is another sports arena that is also part of it, namely the Sioux Falls Arena, which is home to the Augustana Vikings basketball team. The Vikings also used to play at the football stadium behind the convention center, before moving to an on-campus facility back in 2009.
And rounding out the sports venues on site is Sioux Falls Stadium, a.k.a. the Birdcage, home of the minor league Sioux Falls Canaries. There are also plenty of hotels and restaurants in the immediate vicinity, to support events at the convention center, so you are sure to find something suitable if you make the trip out for Storm football.
One unique attraction in the area is the USS South Dakota battleship memorial – being that the state is landlocked with no rivers nearby they don’t have the actual battleship on site, but they do lay out the footprint of it in a local park (to actual size and shape) so you can get a feel for how big it is; there is also a small building on site which shows you the history of the ship.
The fans are pretty rowdy at Denny Sanford Premier Center during Storm football games, but there are not very many of them – there are lots of empty seats despite the reduced capacity during football games. Fans do sport a lot of Storm team gear, however, which is available on-site, and the prices are actually on the low end – the staff makes a point to have a few basic items (shirts, mini footballs, etc.) at low prices points to accommodate fans.
Access to Sioux Falls Storm football couldn’t be easier – there is free parking right outside the arena plus plenty of room in the concourse, with both escalators and elevators if you need them. Lines are very short at the team gear stand and for concessions, and the seats are great as well (all chairbacks with padding). In addition, there is plenty of staff member on hand to answer questions or to help you find your seat, and you can pretty much sit wherever you want once you get to the stands.
Return on Investment 3
Tickets to Storm football start at under $30 including ticketing fees, which is a great deal, and not having to pay for parking only adds to the return on investment. As mentioned the concessions prices are a little on the high side for some items, and there are not a lot of fans in attendance – which is a good thing on one hand as there is less traffic, but also may not provide the raucous atmosphere some fans are looking for.
The Storm have a giant American flag, one of the largest in the state, which they roll out during pre-game. They also have charging stations dotted around the concourse, with connectors to fit all different sizes and styles of phones, for fans who need to get charged up during the game. In addition, there is also a section of field-level seating, behind the near end zone, if you want to get close to the action.
Arena football is fun to watch with its faster pace and shorter field, so you will see some excitement, and seeing the Storm provides some additional amenities, which other clubs don’t offer, so that will certainly make for a fun day. If you are in the area I recommend making time to see indoor football at Denny Sanford Premier Center – go Storm!