The NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee announced Friday, June 25 that Iowa State University has been selected to host the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA. The NCAA Committee also awarded the 2014 Wrestling Championship to Oklahoma City, OK.
The Des Moines Local Organizing Committee (LOC) spent nearly two years working through the bid process, with input from the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau (GDMCVB), Des Moines Area Sports Commission, Iowa State University, the Big 12 Conference, Global Spectrum, and Polk County.
"Booking this event was truly a collaborative effort and one that the whole community can now celebrate," said Greg Edwards, President/CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau (GDMCVB). "We're proud to continue bringing quality events into Greater Des Moines to benefit the local economy."
"We are thrilled that the NCAA Championship is coming back to Central Iowa and to Wells Fargo Arena for the first time," Iowa State athletics director Jamie Pollard said. "This was a joint effort between Iowa State, Polk County, the Big 12, the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Des Moines Area Sports Commission, and Global Spectrum to bring this great event back to our state for the first time since 2001. Iowa State hosted the first NCAA Championship in Ames in 1928 and this will be the eighth time that ISU has hosted the event. Iowa State wrestling fans and our Cyclone wrestling student-athletes and fans of the sport throughout our state are the biggest winners in this successful NCAA bid."
While this will be the first time NCAA Champions are crowned inside Wells Fargo Arena, it's not the first time the NCAA has held successful events in Des Moines. In 2008, the Division I Women's Basketball first and second rounds were hosted at Wells Fargo Arena, and the 2008 NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships was hosted at Drake Stadium, with return trips scheduled for 2011 and 2012.
"This is another example of a major event again putting Des Moines on the map with sports enthusiasts," said Al Lorenzen, Vice President of Sports and Development with the Des Moines Area Sports Commission, an organization under the GDMCVB umbrella. "This showcases our community's commitment to health and wellness."
Des Moines has become a city known for executing high level sporting events in previous years, including the AAU Junior Olympics, Drake Relays, USA Track and Field Championships, High School State Wrestling Championships and the World Disc Golf Championships. When Polk County officials made the decision to build Wells Fargo Arena, events like this were on the list of those they hoped to attract.
"Showcasing the NCAA Wrestling Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena is exactly the type of national event that was envisioned for the Iowa Events Center since it was first conceived. This event will provide a huge economic development impact and allow us to share with thousands more all that Des Moines and Polk County have to offer," stated Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment for everyone in the State of Iowa," said Global Spectrum's Matt Homan, General Manager of Wells Fargo Arena. "We look forward to exceeding the NCAA's expectations for the 2013 Wrestling Championships and providing a first-class facility and city for wrestling fans to enjoy."