IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa and Colorado will hook up for a non-conference men’s basketball game at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D., next season.
The Power 5 programs will meet Dec. 22, 2017, according to a game contract obtained by Landof10.com via state open-records laws. The Hawkeyes will be the home team and the Big Ten will administer all television rights for the game. The contract was signed Nov. 15.
“They’ve been talking to us for years about this,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “It’s been something that we’ve thought about for a long time. It’s a great facility, good people. It will be a great opportunity for our fans in the northern part of the state to see our team play. We’re excited about it.”
Sioux Falls is located about 80 miles north of Sioux City, Iowa.
Next year, Iowa will not compete in the third edition of the Gavitt Games, an annual challenge between the Big Ten and Big East conferences. The Hawkeyes were matched against Marquette and Seton Hall during the first two seasons. McCaffery wanted his team to face a similar test next year.
“We just felt in a year when we weren’t playing in the Big East challenge, play a game like that somewhere,” McCaffery said. “We just thought that was a terrific opportunity for a lot of reasons.
“I have a lot of respect for Tad Boyle and the job he’s done (at Colorado). I think it’s a terrific team to play, and it will be a great opportunity for us to play somebody of that caliber.”
Regional Power 5 programs have competed in Sioux Falls in three of the past four seasons. Minnesota beat Vanderbilt, 56-52, on Dec. 3, and Wisconsin opened the 2013-14 season with a win against St. John’s. Iowa State beat Colorado to tip off the 2015-16 season.
Iowa will earn $150,000 for the appearance, plus $15,000 for transportation expenses, 18 double rooms and a suite at a Sioux Falls hotel and 60 premium complementary tickets.
“That’s nice, too, but when we put our schedule together, we’re not out there trying to make every dollar,” McCaffery said. “But it’s nice that we can get that kind of money and utilize it for our foreign trip.”
Iowa is eligible for a summer foreign tour in 2017 and plans to play exhibition games in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Junior forward Dom Uhl hails from Frankfort, Germany.
Nine of Iowa’s possible 13 non-conference games are determined for next season. The Hawkeyes compete in the Cayman Islands against three opponents to be determined from Nov. 20-22, plus one more at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (around Nov. 10) for $85,000. Iowa will host Southern Utah ($100,000) on Dec. 19, play Drake in the Hy-Vee Classic on Dec. 16 in Des Moines and travel to Iowa State on Dec. 7. The Hawkeyes’ Big Ten-ACC Challenge opponent and location will be determined next spring.
Because the Big Ten Tournament is staged in New York City and held a week earlier in 2018, two of Iowa’s conference games will be held before mid-December, McCaffery said.