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City lands wrestling nationals for 3 more years

City lands wrestling nationals for 3 more years

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Mid-America Center

The Mid-America Center.

The NJCAA has found a home for its marquee wrestling event. Thus, it didn’t see a need to look elsewhere.

Iowa Western, which just completed the second year of a three-year contract to host the NJCAA Wrestling National Championship, was announced Tuesday as the host for 2019, 2020 and 2021, meaning it will be contested at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs for the next four years.

The two-day tournament annually is held on the final Friday and Saturday in February.

IWCC athletic director Jeremy Capo said the school is thrilled to have won the bid.

“One, it’s just a great opportunity for our kids to be wrestling in front of our home crowd in their home community,’’ he said. “We don’t have many duals, so to have an event of that magnitude is just tremendous.

“Two is the economic impact in terms of what it brings to Council Bluffs for the hotels and restaurants. We always want to be building that partnership with the local businesses and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.’’

In recent years the event had stayed for one year. It was in Rochester, Minnesota, in 2012, Des Moines in 2013 and Spokane, Washington, in 2014. Capo said he didn’t know how many bids were submitted for wrestling this time around. Forty-five schools have wrestling programs in the NJCAA.

Initial reviews of the first wrestling championships in Capo’s tenure with the Reivers were positive, he said.

“Wrestling coaches from our region said last year was the best yet from an operational standpoint – set up, stage, making it a more intimate event,’’ he said. “We’re waiting to hear back from a survey taken of all of the coaches.’’

The NJCAA announced site selections Tuesday for 15 national championships. Among other highlights, the NJCAA Football Championship Game will return after a 30-year hiatus and be played in Pittsburg, Kansas. Iowa Central in Fort Dodge will host the 2020 Division I cross country championships.

All selections were made by the NJCAA championship events committee after an exhaustive bid review process that began last fall. The committee’s final site selections were approved by the association’s board of directors at its annual legislative meeting recently held in Reno, Nevada.

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