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Minnesotans Dodge Covid Restrictions for Big Wrestling Tournament, Get Covid in South Dakota

Minnesota’s Northland Youth Wrestling Association was having trouble scheduling its state wrestling tournament because Minnesota’s coronavirus restrictions prohibited them from assembling their 2,100 little wrestlers and all their parents and other spectators in one crowded venue. To get around Minnesota’s coronavirus restrictions, they held their tournament here in South Dakota, at the Sioux Falls Arena/Denny-plex/whatever week before last.

Naturally, they got covid:

Positive infections have been found in 16 of the 2,000 wrestlers plus spectators from Minnesota who were in Sioux Falls for a state meet March 31-April 3 held by the Northland Youth Wrestling Association (NYWA).

…The meet involved 64 teams from 52 Minnesota counties. It was moved from Rochester to Sioux Falls because of the level of COVID-19 mitigation requirements for sporting events in Minnesota.

“NYWA is confident that everyone is aware of the risk of COVID-19 and expect that everyone will make their own determination if this is something he or she is comfortable attending,” the organizers said in a Facebook post in February.

TV coverage showed unmasked athletes and spectators packed tightly together during the tournament. A mask mandate in Sioux Falls expired March 13, and the arena encouraged masks and social distancing but did not require them [Jeremy Olson, “Wrestling Tournament Outbreak Adds to Minnesota Covid-19 Concerns,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2021.04.12].

Meanwhile, the Sioux Falls media produces more advertitainment to celebrate its major sponsor’s ability to pack the house:

An entertainment venue in Sioux Falls is coming off of a big weekend.

The Denny Sanford PREMIER Center hosted Professional Bull Riders Friday-Sunday.

While PBR has been to town a few times over the past several months, this was the first time the bull riding organization offered seating at full capacity since the pandemic started.

While the PREMIER Center has allowed for 100 percent sellable capacity since June, this past weekend was the first time it has happened since the pandemic started.

“Certainly wasn’t 2019 numbers, but I think it exceeded what the expectation was, so again we had very good crowds certainly Saturday and Friday,” Denny Sanford PREMIER Center general manager Mike Krewson said.

…“It was great to see people out socializing and having a few cold ones and just enjoying that ability to enjoy live music. It’s been few and far between since last March,” Krewson said.

Krewson says the past weekend felt like a “throwback to old times.”

“Our staff, we still wear face-coverings and we still have some of those protocols in place, but it did feel as a throwback and it was good to get back into it with parking lots full and people having to park down the street and everything like that, so that’s good. That’s why we’re here. We’re here to drive revenue and this weekend was a perfect example of that,” Krewson said [Kelli Volk, “Busy Weekend at Premier Center Draws ‘Very Good Crowds’,” KELO-TV, 2021.04.12].

We’re Here to Drive Revenue—that’s South Dakota’s real slogan, public health and Life itself be darned.


  1. John 2021-04-13 09:43

    Darwin was right!

  2. Porter Lansing 2021-04-13 12:25

    Florida is no longer the “kook” magnet of USA.

    John Dale for Chancellor

  3. sx123 2021-04-13 13:40

    “NYWA is confident that everyone is aware of the risk of COVID-19 and expect that everyone will make their own determination if this is something he or she is comfortable attending,” the organizers said in a Facebook post in February.

    I hate this “if you’re scared stay home” attitude so prevalent around here. Puts responsible parents and kids in a bind with their peers.

  4. Mark Anderson 2021-04-13 13:56

    If they didn’t want the disease they should have brought their condoms.

  5. Eve Fisher 2021-04-13 14:48

    That’s all right; wait until the surge after the PBR show last weekend.

  6. o 2021-04-13 15:29

    Well, we cannot continue to send Minnesota our best and brightest without thinking they would reciprocate.

    We’re open for business — anything for a buck.

  7. Arlo Blundt 2021-04-13 17:12

    Well…yes…we’re driving revenue…enough of this nervous nellie nonsense, its time to sell some popcorn…We have Sturgis Bike Rally values…Let the Good Times Roll

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-04-13 17:52

    To sx123’s point: those who excuse their own irresponsibility by saying that folks who don’t feel comfortable coming to the event can stay ignore the fact that their irresponsible congregating then jeopardizes all the other people they expose who don’t have a choice to stay home: police, grocery store clerks, nurses….

  9. o 2021-04-13 18:21

    I suppose this is the also the Right’s counter justification — let’s steal events from states that have public health regulation — that eases the knowledge that their anti LGTBQ or New Jim Crow policies will also result in business being stripped of them.

    For so long, corporate interests have played in the background and influenced policy. More and more, corporate interests become front-and-center players in the political discussion through their business practices. Will the Right implode when being Right become bad for business?

    If business continues to migrate and populations continue to migrate based on political ideology, we will be two nations in no time. I maybe need to start looking for a new place to live for when SD becomes even more demonstrative of its Right values.

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