SBD/November 1, 2013/Colleges

NCAA Passes Over Des Moines For '15-18 Championships In Wrestling, Track, Volleyball

Des Moines "failed to make the cut" as a finalist to host '15-18 NCAA championships in track and field, Final Four volleyball and wrestling, according to Bryce Miller of the DES MOINES REGISTER. Des Moines earlier this year "seemed to wow the NCAA at wrestling in particular, selling out every ticket for every session of the March event in 14 minutes." The attached Fan Fest was "universally labeled the best in the sport's history." Part of the problem for Des Moines in terms of the wrestling championships is that "demand outweighs supply." All eight finalists -- Cleveland, K.C., Louisville, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and MSG in N.Y. -- "seat more than 18,000," and the NCAA "isn't in the business of leaving money sitting outside the cash register." Iowa Events Center GM Chris Connolly said that Wells Fargo Arena "stretched in every way possible to near 16,500." He said, "It was maxed out. In my mind, we couldn’t get much more creative. Could we renovate and add seats? Yes, but the cost would be astronomical. We could go to 20,000, but how many of our tenants need that?" The NCAA also indicated that "floor space and limited flight options played against Des Moines" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 10/31).
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