KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced a contract extension with the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, Des Moines Area Sports Commission and Grand View University (Iowa) for the NAIA Wrestling National Championships. The one-year agreement will have the Jacobson Exhibition Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, host the event through the 2013 NAIA National Championships. The current contract between the NAIA and Des Moines expired following the 2012 event.
"The NAIA is excited to extend its host partnership with the Greater Des Moines CVB, Sports Commission and Grand View for the NAIA Wrestling National Championships," said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. "Des Moines organized a terrific and memorable event in its first year (2012) and should be commended for their efforts. With the proud and storied tradition of wrestling in the state of Iowa, I have no doubt that they will be able to repeat that experience for the student-athletes, coaches and fans involved."
Completed in 2010, the Jacobson Exhibition Center is a multipurpose facility used for hosting a wide variety of events, including concerts and sporting events. The facility features a 32,000 square foot area floor and permanent seating for 3,329. For more information on the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, click here.
"Bringing the NAIA Wrestling National Championships back to Des Moines is a win for our region and a win for wrestling fans around the Midwest," said Greg Edwards, President and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It's events like this that better the quality of life for the local community and give wrestling fans one more avenue to see some of the nation's up-and-coming talent."
The state of Iowa has hosted seven previous Wrestling National Championships, all taking place in either Sioux City or Des Moines.
The Championships consist of 10 individual weight classes with four sessions during the two-day span, which is a change from previous year's three-day, six-session competition. Wrestlers qualify for the Championships by placing in the top four in their weight class at one of the four Qualifying Group tournaments or as an at-large selection out of their qualifying group.
In the 55-year history of the event, there have been 19 programs that have previously taken home the team title, including Grand View's 2012 Championship. The first NAIA Wrestling National Championship occurred in 1958, hosted in Mankato, Minn. The host school, Mankato State (Minn.) won the inaugural title. Currently, 37 varsity programs sponsor wrestling in the NAIA. For a complete list of those institutions, click here.
For additional information about NAIA Wrestling, click here.