State Wrestling, Boys State Basketball To Stay At The Well

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control approved contracts at last week’s meeting with Spectra, operator of Iowa Events Center, to keep the state wrestling tournaments and state basketball tournament inside Wells Fargo Arena through at least 2025. The board meeting took place on Thursday, March 12 at the Iowa Hall of Pride.

“We are excited to extend our agreement with the Iowa Events Center to host our state wrestling and basketball championships at Wells Fargo Arena,” IHSAA executive director Tom Keating said.

“This extension allows our student-athletes to continue to experience the thrill of state tournament competition in a first-class venue. This terrific facility, paired with the hospitality our fans and teams are shown by the Des Moines metro business community, is a winning combination.”

The contract extensions ensure the IHSAA’s two highest-attended tournament events stay in Des Moines, and include five optional annual renewals after 2025 which could take the contract through 2030.

The traditional wrestling tournament has been in the state capital every year since 1972, and basketball every year since 1963. Both events moved to Wells Fargo Arena once it opened in 2006.

“High school athletics are a tremendous source of pride for Iowa communities and we are proud to work with Tom and the IHSAA to keep the state wrestling and basketball championships in Des Moines at Wells Fargo Arena,” said Spectra’s Chris Connolly, general manager of Wells Fargo Arena.

“We are excited to work in conjunction with the IHSAA to provide all participants, support staff, and fans with an unmatched state tournament experience well into the future.”

State wrestling currently has four contracted dates, including one day for duals (see below) and three for the traditional tournament. State basketball’s schedule is five days since the IHSAA made the shift away from a six-day format in 2018.

“This is fantastic news for our metro,” Catch Des Moines CEO and president Greg Edwards said. “The IHSAA has a long history in bringing two of its largest events to our capital city. The IHSAA state wrestling championships continue to lead the country in attendance, and the boys’ basketball tournament has a great impact too. Both of these events generate huge economic benefits to our Iowa Events Center and so many local businesses. We are grateful for their continued support.”

The IHSAA is concluded the state basketball tournament last Friday with attendance restrictions at Wells Fargo Arena.


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