By Summit R. Swedge, southdacola.com
Not only have hardware stores in Sioux Falls seen an upswing in wheelbarrow sales this past week, they said the sale of mason jars and mattresses are also on the rise. A strange course of events that has some hardware store managers attributing to the Summit League Tournament.
â€œIn the past we have seen a small up-tick in sales around the tournament time, but nothing like this. I think more people are seeing the bigger potential with the tournament now being played at our new events center,â€ says ACER Hardware Store Manager, Kevin Kneeberg.
I asked if people were more inclined to do yard work, brew hooch and get a good night’s rest around tournament time?
â€œOh, I have speculated all of those things, but I guess I really don’t know. MyÂ wheelbarrow supplier couldn’t even tell me what it was all about when comparing market studies,â€ says Kneeberg.
I decided to ask some fans what they attributed the sales streak to.
College basketball fan, Marvin Boredtoudeaf thought maybe it had to do with tail-gaiting, â€œYou, know, it’s gonna be a Hell of a nice weekend, one of thoseÂ wheelbarrows would come in handy for a butt load of chips and salsa.â€
Another fan, Grace Needsomtingtodo, said, â€œThe games can get a little boring, so those mattresses would come in handy.â€
I wasn’t buying it, because as I perused the parking lot at the Events Center, I didn’t see any of these items. So I decided to ask one of the Summit Tournament organizers the significance of the purchases and if there was some kind of promotion going on.
â€œWell, sports fans are usually full of a lot of crap . . . heck, really, I don’t have a clue, but I will concur, I could use a new bedâ€ says organizer Carl â€˜Lumpy’ Oranges.
It seemed I was getting no answers from these folks, so I decided to wait outside Acer Hardware and BINGO, I saw a guy feverishly hauling twoÂ wheelbarrows to his truck.
I yelled, â€œSir! Sir! Could I ask why you and many other citizens are loading up on wheelbarrows? Are you a big fan attending the game? Have you received a special promotion?â€
The man who cared not to be identified said, â€œCollege basketball? HA! I wouldn’t watch that for free at home, besides, I heard it is a real bi*ch to get tickets at that bent up tin can.â€ So I still wondered, why are people buying these items around Summit Tournament time?
He replies, â€œYou’re kidding right? Now I have known for a long time that you journalists in Sioux Falls aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer, but you seriously have no clue?
It’s for transporting and storing all the money this tax payer of Sioux FallsÂ is going to make from the economic impact of the tournament, gotta be prepared, it’s like winning the lottery. Which reminds me, I also need to grab a shovel and a ticket.â€
I didn’t have the heart to tell the gentleman that really isn’t how it works. I just hope Kneeberg is prepared for returns on Monday, besides, the economic impact or not, the tax payers of Sioux Falls are still going to have to make that mortgage payment on the Events Center every year, for a very, very, long time. They may want to keep the wheelbarrows to assist them in delivering that payment each year.