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SIOUX CITY – When The Arena – a planned future hub of Siouxland sports – opens its doors, the Great Plains Athletic Conference offices will relocate to the facility.

GPAC commissioner Corey Westra currently operates league business out of his home, so the partnership with the Arena is a welcome announcement.

“It gives us a chance to have a place to call home, it’s a gathering place where we can do a lot of different things,” Westra said. “Not just having an office, we can have a conference facility, meeting facilities and obviously competition facilities as well.

“We don’t know what that looks like yet in terms of what events may or could end up there but we’re certainly very open to that and want to utilize that space as much as possible. It’s centrally located to the conference, which is a real positive as well.”

The Arena, an 80,000 square foot sports complex, has the ability to host not only major athletic events, but also will feature upscale amenities such as a 6,000-square foot performance center, media room, sports grill and state-of-the-art technology for day to day and event operations.

“Myself, along with our partners Mike Hesse and Jeff Carlson, are extremely excited to not only help elevate the GPAC, but also the institutions and student-athletes within,” Dustin Cooper, executive director of The Arena, said in a statement. “Mike, Jeff and I were all student-athletes and graduates of GPAC schools and that makes this partnership all the more special for us.”

Since its inception in 2000, the GPAC has won 27 NAIA team national championships and in 2017-18 alone had 652 NAIA-Daktronics Scholar-Athletes.

Work on The Arena is expected to begin in July or August and conclude in summer 2019.

“We started the conversations about four or five months ago,” Westra said. “The Summit League announced that they were going to The Pentagon (Sioux Falls). We were kind of in discussions before that and when that came out our discussions really accelerated. It made sense that the GPAC look here and it’s a partnership that makes a lot of sense.”

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