Wrestling fans in and around Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines are searching for tickets to Saturday night’s championship session. The session is sold out, once again, and tickets have not been available for months.
Alan Beste of the Iowa High School Athletic Association says it’s been 20 years straight they’ve sold out the 14,500 seats at the tournament. Beste says they have new ways of people watching the tournament online, but they still sell out.
Beste says the Saturday night sellouts add to the mystique of the state tournament. “It’s the only sold out event that we have and it’s sort of fun to have people looking for tickets,” Beste says. He says if they had a 20,000 seat arena it wouldn’t be quite as exciting leading up to the tournament because everybody would know they were going to get in.
Beste says it has become the toughest ticket for any sporting event in the state of Iowa. “I think this is it. Iowa/Iowa State football, those are pretty tough. Iowa/Penn State wrestling, those are tough. But on an annual basis, I think this is the toughest ticket in town,” Beste says.
Beste says the association does make sure that family members of the wrestlers competing in the championship round will get a chance to watch.
“Even if there are no seats, if someone qualifies and their parents didn’t know that they were going to, we will get them on the flood. We are not going to turn anybody away whose son or daughter is wrestling in the finals,” he says.