More than 75,000 fans will pack Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines over the next three days for the Iowa State Wrestling Championships. It is one of the biggest wrestling tournaments in the country.
“What we have been told is we have is we have the biggest state wrestling tournament in the country when it comes to high school tournaments.”, said Alan Beste, Executive Director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. “We have some people coming from Arizona to see how we administer ours to see if they can get any ideas on how to administer theirs in Arizona.”
With action on eight mats it takes about 150 workers to keep the tournament running smoothly and with more than 230 schools across the state represented it takes planning just to get all of the school buses parked.
“We have a really great partnership with the Iowa Cubs and buses are able to go down to Principal Park and we have an agreement with a taxi service that brings the bus drivers up to the arena”, added Beste. “It is all coordinated with the Events Center, Principal Park and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. There are a lot of people involved in making sure we get people where they need to go.”
Beste says the experience Des Moines has gained from hosting the NCAA wrestling championships as well as NCAA basketball tournament has benefited their tournament.
Championship matches in all three classes will be Saturday night.