DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa is home to wrestling. We’ve hosted everything from the state tournament to NCAA National Championships. This weekend Des Moines is back at it hosting the NAIA Wrestling National Championship.
Grand View University is partnering with Catch Des Moines to host this tournament. They expect it to generate more than $1.6 million in economic impact for Greater Des Moines.
The tournament will be held at the Richard O. Jacobson Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Catch Des Moines President and CEO Greg Edwards said, “The facility out there really was made, it was built to do horse shoes, but we’ve done volleyball tournaments, wrestling tournaments, they’ve done concerts out there. So it’s basically a mini arena so it works nicely.”
Eight wrestling mats line the floors waiting for 240 athletes to compete. The stands are ready for more than 3,000 spectators from across the country.
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics holds national championships for smaller colleges and universities.
Edwards said Des Moines is the perfect place for this tournament because of how much Iowans support amateur sports.
“Des Moines, we’re really turning into a really amateur championship city, not only are we hosting this wrestling championship this weekend, later this summer we are going to host the USA track and field championships, AAU junior Olympic games, and of course next year we’ll host the NCAA men’s basketball,” Edwards said.
Edwards said even though the tournament features smaller schools, the event will have a big championship tournament atmosphere.
”We want them to feel the vibe, the excitement, so we do a lot of signage around the fairgrounds, as they arrive at the airport and other places downtown, to make them know, hey we in Des Moines, we love having you here, congratulations, you made it to the top,” Edwards said.
The NAIA Wrestling National Championship is March 2nd – March 3rd. Sessions begin at 10 A.M. and 6:30 P.M. Friday and 10 A.M. and 7 P.M. Saturday.
Price: Adult All Sessions: $45; Student All Sessions: $30; Adult Single Session: $16; Student Single Session: $12; Ages 3 & under are free.
For tickets and more details regarding the event, visit catchdesmoines.com/2018-naia-wrestling-championship