The NCAA announced Wednesday the future sites for the national wrestling tournaments through 2018.
Cedar Rapids won the bid to host two national wrestling tournaments, while it wasn’t awarded the Division III baseball championships.
A noteworthy selection was the 2016 Division I championships will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City with Hofstra as the host program. It will be the first time held at the famous sports venue, which hosted the Grapple at the Garden dual event the last two years. The Championships will return to St. Louis, Mo., in 2015 and then again in 2017. it will be the eighth time St. Louis has hosted the event, which will be more than any other host city, according to the video announcement.
Cleveland will host both the Division I and III tournaments in 2018.
Cedar Rapids will host the 2014 NCAA Division III Championships, but it won’t have to wait long for another opportunity. The 2016 Division III Championships will be held at the U.S. Cellular Center and will mark the sixth time Cornell College will host or co-host the event.
“The big thing is it shows everybody’s commitment to wrestling at Cornell,” said Dick Simmons, who is an Associate Athletics Director at Cornell and a member of the Division III Wrestling Committee. “And, we have a great venue. When they see it, they’ll want to come back.”
The Division II Championships will come back to Cedar Rapids when Upper Iowa University hosts the 2018 tournament at the U.S. Cellular Center. Upper Iowa Coach Heath Grimm said he was glad to hear the news.
“I’m extremely excited,” Grimm said. “Everyone had a great experience the last time. Nothing but positive things from it.”
He added that he would have liked something sooner, but any opportunity is a good opportunity.
“We’ll take 2018,” Grimm said. “Our true freshmen, if they red-shirt along the way, will have a chance for a title in the state of Iowa.”
The renovations to the arena fit the event perfectly, including a wider concourse for fans, state of the art video boards, more space for wrestlers to warm up and even blue seats that match the NCAA’s logo.
“It seems built for an NCAA Championship,” Simmons said. “It’s going to be outstanding.”
The NCAA announced 523 sites that were awarded 82 of 89 championships from 2014-18 in a wide range of sports, making the largest announcement in association history, according to a news release.
Iowa Conference Commissioner Chuck Yrigoyen confirmed that Cedar Rapids did not win its bid to host the Division III Baseball World Series from 2015-17. The baseball tournament was awarded to Appleton, Wis.
“We really want to thank everyone who put in a bid,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances. “The competitiveness of the bids made it extremely difficult for the sport committees to select sites as there just weren’t spots for all of the great bids we received. Ultimately the sites that were selected will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans the best experience possible.”
Below is the complete list of host cities and venues for the wrestling championships:
NCAA DIVISION I (host schools/conferences in parentheses)
2015 - St. Louis, Mo., Scottrade Center (Missouri)
2016 - New York City, Madison Square Garden (Hofstra)
2017 - St. Louis, Mo., Scottrade Center (Missouri)
2018 - Cleveland, Quicken Loans Arena (Mid-American Conference)
NCAA DIVISION II (host schools/conferences in parentheses)
2015 - St. Louis, Mo., Chaifetz Arena (Maryville University)
2016 - Sioux Falls, S.D., Denny Sanford Premier Center (NSIC)
2017 - Birmingham, Ala., Winter Sports Festival (CrossPlex)
2018 - Cedar Rapids, U.S. Cellular Center (Upper Iowa University)
NCAA DIVISION III (host schools/conferences in parentheses)
2015 - Hershey, Pa., Giant Center (Elizabethtown College)
2016 - Cedar Rapids, U.S. Cellular Center (Cornell College)
2017 - La Crosse, Wis., La Crosse Center (Wisconsin-La Crosse)
2018 - Cleveland, Cleveland Public Auditorium (Baldwin-Wallace University)
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